Fortum CEO says Uniper deliberately obstructed stake purchase - Kommersant

Credit: REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

By Anna Rzhevkina

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Germany's Uniper UN01.DE deliberately obstructed a proposed stake purchase by registering its assets in Russia as strategic, Kommersant daily quoted Fortum FORTUM.HE Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark as saying on Thursday.

In October, state-controlled Finnish utility Fortum agreed to buy a stake of more than 20.5% in Uniper, bringing its total holding to more than 70.5%.

The deal, however, is subject to regulatory approval as Russian regulators have so far capped Fortum's ownership in Uniper at 49.99%, due to a strategic water license operated by the German group's Russian subsidiary Unipro.

"The company registered water supply activities at Surgutskaya GRES-2 as a natural monopoly on (its) own initiative after we announced our offer to buy Uniper shares," Lundmark told Kommersant.

No-one at Uniper could immediately be reached for comment.

Lundmark added that Fortum had discussed the issue with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, and the regulator is considering Fortum's application.

Uniper said earlier this month that Fortum had yet to address a range of questions about its intentions in the takeover talks to get management support for any deal.

(Reporting by Anna Rzhevkina in Gdansk Editing by David Holmes)

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