Gazprom 'in Talks' for 1/4 Share of Austria's OMV
Russian state-owned energy concern Gazprom has begun talks with Abu Dhabi representatives to acquire 24.9% of oil and gas company OMV, an Austrian lawmaker argues.
Peter Pilz, a key member of the Austrian Green Party, was quoted by daily Wirtschaftsblatt as saying Gazprom representatives have already held a few conversations with major OMV shareholder International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), which has a quarter of the Austrian company.
He even said he had "concrete evidence" that talks were taking place, citing "informants" he could count on in Abu Dhabi, Moscow and Vienna.
Pilz's claims, which come just two days after Gazprom and OMV's CEOs signed a final deal envisaging the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline in Austria, match earlier reports by another daily in the country, Kurier.
The Austrian Industry Holding (OIAG), another major OMV shareholder, announced nothing supported Pikz's claims and described them as a "conspiracy theory".
OIAG, which has a 31.5% stake in OMV, maintains IPIC has not shown interest in selling its assets.
OMV, Austria's largest manufacturing company, is currently listed at a value of EUR 10.7 B.
Some 43% of its shares that are "scattered" among minor holders, and Pilz expressed concerns Gazprom might eye part of them, hinting it could virtually seek to take hold of the company.
OMV has so far refused to comment on his claims.
Gazprom for its part has not yet issued an official statement.
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