(Adds Gazprom, company quotes, details)
VILNIUS, April 30 Lithuanian state-owned
companies said they had asked the competition authority for
approval to buy stakes in the Baltic state's gas and power
utilities from Germany's E.ON.
The deal would mean Lithuania regaining control of its key
gas infrastructure, which was privatised a decade ago, as the
country plans to start imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Lithuania currently relies completely on gas imports from
The government has been negotiating the purchase of E.ON's
holdings in gas utility Lietuvos Dujos, gas
transmission grid Amber Grid and power distribution
grid trading firm Lesto.
State-owned energy group Lietuvos Energija is seeking to buy
a 38.9 percent stake in Lietuvos Dujos and an 11.8 percent stake
in Lesto, worth a combined 136 million euros ($188.57 million)
at the current share price.
"We were told by the government, our owner, to apply for
permission from the competition authority," a spokesman for
Lietuvos Energija told Reuters.
State-owned holding company EPSO-G aims to buy E.ON's 38.9
percent stake in Amber Grid, a company which operates
high-pressure gas pipelines.
"We agreed with E.ON to ask for permission (from the
competition authority) to buy holdings in Amber Grid. The sale
has not been closed yet," EPSO-G head Virgilijus Poderys told
Reuters, but declined to disclose the price of the deal.
Amber Grid shares are worth 52 million euros at current
E.ON declined to comment.
Russia's Gazprom, which has a 37.1 percent stake
in both Lietuvos Dujos and Amber Grid, said it was still
considering whether to sell its stakes.
($1 = 0.7212 Euros)
(Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Additional reporting by Christoph
Steitz in Frankfurt; Editing by Pravin Char)