Russia's Rotenberg denies buying Gazprom stake

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg, a former judo training partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin, denied on Wednesday a media report that he had bought a stake in Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM.

“We (or companies related to us) are not buying, exchanging or investing in Gazprom shares,” Rotenberg, a longtime Gazprom contractor, said through his representative on Wednesday. “We are building bridges and other infrastructure facilities.”

Bloomberg reported earlier on Wednesday, citing three sources familiar with the deal, that a company linked to Rotenberg was among a group of Russian investors who bought a 2.9% stake in Gazprom in July for $2.2 billion, a discount of $100 million-$120 million to market prices.

Gazprom is considering the possibility of selling more than $3 billion of its shares held by the company’s subsidiaries this autumn, Bloomberg added, citing two unidentified sources familiar with the plans.

Reporting by Maria Grabar; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Jan Harvey