Germany Could Stop RWE Unit Sale

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman

Germany's Economy Ministry is investigating whether to block the sale of RWE's oil and gas unit DEA to a group of investors led by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, a spokeswoman said.

The German government has never previously made use of a clause in its foreign trade law, under which it could stop the deal announced earlier this year if there were concrete signs it threatened "public safety and order".

"An investigation has been started. It is an open-ended investigation (to find out) whether there are conditions for prohibiting the deal under the foreign trade accord," a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry told Reuters.

Spiegel magazine on Sunday reported the ministry had started to look into the deal following fresh information but did not give further details. The ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on the information.

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told RWE chief Peter Terium about the investigation on Friday, Spiegel said.

"We have been informed about the investigation and are awaiting its result," a RWE spokeswoman told Reuters, adding the company still expected to finalise the deal this year.

The 5.1 billion euro ($6.9 billion) deal came under criticism from senior German politicians in March, as relations between Russia and the West deteriorated over Ukraine.

STRATEGIC RESERVES

The sale will hand Fridman, Russia's second-richest man, and other co-investors stakes in about 190 oil and gas licenses or concessions inEurope, the Middle East and North Africa.

Norbert Roettgen, head of the Bundestag's foreign committee, from Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said when the deal was announced it did not "fit into the landscape now".

Germany currently receives more than a third of its gas and oil fromRussia.

More than 6,000 German companies are active in the country and business associations and trade bodies have warned an escalation in tensions over Ukraine would result in catastrophic losses for firms.

RWE, like other German utilities, is struggling to adjust to a power sector shake-up as Germany moves away from nuclear energy. The shake-up has more than halved the debt-burdened firm's market value in four years.

Under pressure from a deep and prolonged industry crisis, caused by a surge in rivals' renewable capacity as well as weak energy demand in its core market Europe, RWE has been looking for ways to reduce its debt pile of more than 30 billion euros, including cutting jobs and shedding assets.

(Reporting by Annika Breidthardt, Tom Kaeckenhoff and Matthias Sobolewski; Editing by Sophie Hares)

($1 = 0.7345 Euros)

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Shell CEO Backs Fossil Fuels, Climate Change Warnings

The world's fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

Pipeline Spill Could Hamper California Oil Projects

Hundreds of barrels of oil that gushed from a ruptured coastal pipeline in scenic California this week could stiffen opposition to large oil projects that companies want to build in the state,

U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic,

Energy

Shell CEO Backs Fossil Fuels, Climate Change Warnings

The world's fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

Pipeline Spill Could Hamper California Oil Projects

Hundreds of barrels of oil that gushed from a ruptured coastal pipeline in scenic California this week could stiffen opposition to large oil projects that companies want to build in the state,

U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic,

News

Shell CEO Backs Fossil Fuels, Climate Change Warnings

The world's fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

Severe Flooding Cuts Off Lone Road to Alaska's Oilfield

Alaska's lone road to North Slope oil field operations remains closed for the third time in two months while emergency crews continue to redirect flooding from an adjacent river,

Pipeline Spill Could Hamper California Oil Projects

Hundreds of barrels of oil that gushed from a ruptured coastal pipeline in scenic California this week could stiffen opposition to large oil projects that companies want to build in the state,

People in the News

2 Americans Rescued North of Cuba

A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew rescued two American sailors whose vessel ran aground approximately 25 miles north of Gibara, Cuba, Friday. Watchstanders

U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic,

Mayor Garcetti on Ratification of Port Labor Contract

International Longshore and Warehouse Union members have ratified a five-year contract governing pay and work rules at 29 West Coast ports, including those of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1391 sec (7 req/sec)