European investment fund set to buy large stake in Latvijas Gaze claims Riga

By bne IntelliNews December 22, 2015

EU-backed investment fund Marguerite is close to purchasing a 47.2% stake in gas monopolist Latvijas Gaze from E.ON, an official in Riga claimed on December 22.

Latvian Economy Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said the deal will be announced in the near future, according to Reuters, but declined to reveal details. Should the deal - which has been on the cards since Riga said early in the year it could not afford to buy the stake - go through, it could be taken as a signal of Riga’s determination to execute the unbundling of LG by the current scheduled date of 2017.

Splitting the Russian controlled mononpolist up is required by EU regulations, Brussels finally insisted last month, as Riga fights opposition from Latvia's powerful gas lobby. Reizniece-Ozola has been front and centre of the struggle to force the changes through.

The purchase of close to half of LG, albeit still a minority stake, by a fund controlled by the EIB and state institutions from the likes of Germany, Poland, Spain and France seems unlikely without some understanding that Moscow's grip on the company and the Latvian gas market will be loosened soon. The fund's closeness to Brussels also suggests it would push hard for LG to observe EU energy regulations. Marguerite's mandate is "to help realise investments in projects implementing key EU policies in the areas of climate change, energy security, and trans-European networks".

Local energy analysts noted this year to bne IntelliNews that Gazprom is keen to rally its local forces to try to derail the unbundling, which would mark the end of Gazprom’s dominance in the Baltic region. Following the unbundling, Latvia would join its neighbours Lithuania and Estonia, which already succeeded in wrestling control of their gas transmission networks from Moscow.

Should it offload its stake in LG to Marguerite, E.ON previously partnered Gazprom in control of the gas markets across the Baltic region, would have retreated entirely.

Related Articles

Latvia issues permits to new gas infrastructure holding

The Latvian Public Utilities Commission (SPRK) announced on January 5 that it has issued licences to Conexus Baltic Grid for the transmission and storage of gas. Conexus Baltic Grid will control ... more

Latvijas Gaze agrees to set up spin-off company to operate gas grid and storage

A shareholders' meeting at Latvijas Gaze (LG) decided on December 22 to set up a company that will be used to spin off the country's gas pipelines and storage facilities. The creation of Conexus ... more

Latvia fines Swedbank for failings in anti money laundering measures

The Latvian branch of the Swedish banking group Swedbank said on November 23 it will implement measures to curb money laundering. The pledge follows an audit and a fine of €1.36mn from the ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss