MADRID May 23 A court has taken temporary
control of the Italian units of Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa
as part of an investigation into possible organised
crime activity, the Spanish company said on Friday.
The move was a preventive measure that will not affect
business operations or earnings, Gas Natural said in a statement
to the Spanish securities regulator.
"This is part of an investigation headed by the Palermo
public prosecutor, which aims to keep organised crime from
possibly infiltrating the activity of the group's Italian
companies through contractors," the statement said.
Gas Natural said the Tribunal of Palermo had put under
administration the following subsidiaries: Gas Natural Italia
Spa, Gas Natural Distribuzione Italia Spa and Gas Natural
"These companies are collaborating with Italian authorities
and understand this is a necessary process to rule out any
(organised crime) activity in their business," a source close
the company told Reuters.
Gas Natural's Italian division represented 1.8 percent of
the company's 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
(Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Tomas Cobos and Mark