October 25, 2017 / 4:55 PM / a year ago

Russian competition watchdog sees risks in Fortum-Uniper deal

(Reuters) - Russia’s competition watchdog said it has concerns about Finnish power utility Fortum’s planned purchase of a stake in German peer Uniper and its potential impact on the Russian energy market.

Fortum last month clinched a deal to buy E.ON’s remaining 46.65 percent stake in Uniper, triggering a bid for all Uniper’s shares due to German rules. Fortum still needs to get approval from regulators in several countries, including in Russia where the German group has substantial activities.

The Finnish group has applied to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly service for approval for the deal, since it would involve the purchase of more than 25 percent of Uniper’s Russian assets, including its Russian power company Unipro, Vitaly Korolyov, deputy head of the Russian watchdog, said through the service’s media service.

The watchdog’s preliminary analysis showed that the deal could hamper competition in two zones in Russia’s Urals and Western Siberia, he added, though he did not say what remedies he envisaged.

Fortum already owns a Russian power company which bears the same name and a stake in another power company, TGK-1, controlled by Gazprom.

Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; Writing by Gdynia Newsroom and Polina Devitt; Editing by David Holmes

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