* Says credit comes from 12 banks
* Replaces some former bilateral credit lines
* To support expansion in gas market activities
FRANKFURT, Jan 28 Germany's VNG has secured a 1
billion euro ($1.35 billion) credit line from 12 banks with a
view to supporting its operations and for planned investments,
the gas producer and importer said on Monday.
"The loan is for a three-year term and replaces a big chunk
of existing bilateral credit lines," the Leipzig-based company
said in a statement.
It said that banks in the group included Commerzbank
, Deutsche Bank, BayernLB and DZ
"Obtaining the credit is a milestone in the financing
history of VNG and an expression of the trust the banks have in
our future business model," Chairman Karsten Heuchert said.
VNG evolved from communist Germany's gas company and is a
long-term partner of Russia's Gazprom, among others.
It has expanded its activities in recent years, including
exploration and imports, most notably from Norway, as well as
trading, transport and storage in central Europe.
VNG is majority-owned by unlisted north-west German regional
utility EWE, in which Germany's No.3 utility EnBW has
a 26 percent stake. EWE's stake amounts to 47.90 percent.
Other shareholders in VNG include a group of local utilities
called VNG Verwaltungs- und Beteiligungsgesellschaft of Erfurt
(25.79 percent), Wintershall Holding GmbH (15.79
percent), and Gazprom Germania (10.52 percent).
($1 = 0.7421 euros)
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Jason Neely)