№ 5 (May 2007)
Today's Top Story --- Gazprom Pursues ‘Organic” Growth in UK, Denies Centrica Plans
Gazprom denied its interest in bidding for British company Centrica which controls British Gas despite earlier reports stating the Russian gas giant was looking to take it over along with Scottish and Southern Energy which caused their shares to grow. Still, Gazprom confirmed its intention to expand its presence in the UK market.
“We don’t have Centrica or Scottish and Southern in our sights at the moment, said Philip Dewhurst, spokesman for Gazprom Marketing and Trading, according to Reuters. “Our plan in the UK is to grow out retail business organically,” he added.
Reports of a possible purchase of Centrica started circulating after Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev issued a statement for the media on Sunday stating that Gazprom was planning a deal to expand its consumer base in the UK adding that “anyone who’s going to be in London for the Wimbledon tennis tournament will know about it.”
However, Medvedev later told Reuters his statement “did not refer to any particular company in the UK” as that would go against the acquisition rules in the UK. Reuters reports Gazprom has expressed interest in a host of other European companies to control the revenue from the consumers of its gas with a spokesperson for the corporation stating any company in the World could be on Gazprom’s watch list given its financial capabilities.
Centrica is the biggest gas supplier in the UK, and one of the largest suppliers of electricity. It operates as Scottish Gas in Scotland in as British Gas in the rest of the UK. The company was established in 1997 when British Gas plc broke into Centrica and BG plc. British Gas’s services, retail business and gas production of the Morecambe gas fields were grouped under Centrica.