Ruhrgas raises stake in Gazprom
German gas company Ruhrgas said it has raised its stake in Russia's Gazprom, strengthening its links with the world's
largest gas producer.
Essen-based Ruhrgas, the only direct foreign shareholder in Gazprom, said it raised its holding to about 5 % from 4 %.
"We believe in the long-term positive development of our most important international gas-trading partner," Ruhrgas Deputy CEO Burckhard Bergmann said.
Ruhrgas first bought a block of Gazprom shares from the Russian government in December 1998, and raised its stake
further in May last year. Ruhrgas said it has now invested about 1.7 bn marks ($ 770 mm) in Gazprom.
The German firm is one of several western gas companies planning to help Gazprom build a new pipeline to Europe. Russia's monopoly gas company already supplies about a quarter of western Europe's natural gas.