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By Peter Dinkloh
FRANKFURT, April 23 French utility GDF Suez
GSZ.PA is bidding for German rival E.ON's (EONGn.DE) stake in
eastern German gas supplier Gasag to raise its share in the
business to a majority, people familiar with the matter said.
GDF Suez, which already holds 32 percent in Berlin-based
Gasag, faces competition from the municipal utility holding
Thuega, which is also bidding for E.ON's 37 percent stake, two
people close to the matter told Reuters.
In addition, Thuega is seeking to buy the 32 percent stake
in Gasag which Sweden's Vattenfall [VATN.UL] is selling, the
The bids value all of Gasag at 725 million euros ($974.5
million) at least, excluding debt, according to the people who
declined to be identified as the bidding is confidential.
Vattenfall's German unit and Thuega declined to comment,
while GDF Suez and E.ON were not immediately available.
Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM), the world's largest natural gas
company, is not bidding, one of the people said, even though the
company is keen to get direct access to customers in the
lucrative western European market.
Gasag operates Berlin's gas network, Germany's oldest, and
sells gas, heat and power to customers in the capital and
Gasag generated earnings before interest and taxes of 189
million euros on sales of 1.1 billion euros in 2009.
(Writing by Peter Dinkloh)