IES Buys Full Control of Utilities Firm

Former power monopoly Unified Energy System said Thursday that it sold 25 percent of its Russian Communal Systems to Integrated Energy System, the investment vehicle of metals and oil tycoon Viktor Vekselberg.

IES paid 3.1 billion rubles ($132 million) for the stake, giving Vekselberg full control of the country's main provider of services such as water, garbage collection and electricity.

He already owned 75 percent before the sale.

IES, also known by its Russian acronym KES, has become one of the largest players in the liberalized electricity sector, buying up billions of dollars in assets from UES.

UES, the Soviet-era monopoly, is selling off all its assets by July 1 as part of a sweeping reform of the power sector, which is aiming to attract investment for development and to introduce a competitive market for power.