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Vekselberg Says He’ll Drop Gazprom Power Merger If No Deal Soon

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg said he’ll walk away from a plan to merge his power generating assets with OAO Gazprom’s if a deal isn’t completed during this quarter.

“We cannot be in uncertainty for a long time, as this is detrimental to the company,” Vekselberg said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos today. His Integrated Energy Systems will continue to operate as an independent company if no agreement is reached by March 31, he said.

Gazprom, Russia’s state-run gas export monopoly, and Vekselberg agreed in July to merge electricity assets, forming a utility that would control as much as 25 percent of the country’s power-generating capacity. In December, the companies withdrew their merger request with Russia’s antitrust watchdog after failing to agree on terms. Gazprom said on Jan. 18 that it plans to file a new request with amended terms “in a few days.”

Integrated Energy Systems, Russia’s largest privately-owned utility according to Forbes magazine, owns stakes in the TGK-5, TGK-6, Volga TGK and TGK-9 power companies. Gazprom Energoholding controls OAO Mosenergo, OGK-6, OGK-2 and TGK-1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Davos, Switzerland at lpronina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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