Gazprom, Vekselberg's IES Will Bid Jointly for TGK-7

Gazprom and Viktor Vekselberg's Integrated Energy Systems will jointly bid for power producer TGK-7 and have set up a vehicle to do so, a source close to TGK-7 said Friday.

The partners have emerged as the most active investors in the country's liberalized power sector, but this would be their first joint move to buy an electricity asset.

The source said the two had already set up an investment firm that will enter their joint bid for the government's 32 percent stake in TGK-7, to be sold next month.

The price of the stake is likely to be 2.848 rubles per share, or $456 per kilowatt of TGK-7's generating capacity, the same as the price of the new share sale TGK-7 held last week.

IES already owns 23 percent of TGK-7 and bid for all of the new shares sold on March 14.

TGK-7 is one of 20 major electricity producers being sold off by Unified Energy System.

Gazprom and IES have separately acquired some of the choicest of these companies, threatening to partly remonopolize the sector, which has drawn scrutiny from the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service.

Gazprom has secured effective control of four of the 20 large power producers, including the main suppliers of electricity to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

IES has bought up effective control of three, while all of the other strategic investors acquiring UES assets have each gained control of only one firm so far.

Investment fund Halcyon Advisors has created a special fund to bid for power producer TGK-4 in a consortium with other investors, a source close to the sale said Friday.

"The makeup of the consortium will be determined in the next few days. There is a clear intention to have a foreign firm participate," the source said.

Final bids for TGK-4 will be accepted on April 7.