State Energy Firms Plan Share Sales

Gazprom may have to spend up to $4.3 billion buying the shares of its energy firms by 2010 after OGK-6 said it might issue 33 billion rubles ($1.23 billion) of new equity.

Three of Gazprom's large energy companies are each more than $1 billion short of the money needed to carry out their investment programs.

To raise the funds, they are planning to sell shares in the second half of 2009, as the global financial crisis has choked off access to other forms of financing such as syndicated loans and bond issues.

Gazprom has said it would be ready to buy up the shares of all three placements if no other investors show interest.

That would make a maximum price tag for these shares around 113 billion rubles ($4.27 billion) by the end of 2009.

In November, the board of OGK-6 will review a final proposal from the company's management to place 33 billion rubles of new equity in the second half of 2009, an OGK-6 official said on Wednesday. It needs 56 billion rubles for its investment program to 2012.

OGK-2, another of Gazprom's energy units, has already told its management to review plans for a secondary offering of shares and to hire consultants for the placement.

The size of OGK-2's share sale is expected to be around 40 billion rubles.

Gazprom is also planning to sell new shares of TGK-1, its territorial generating company that provides energy to regions around St. Petersburg. That sale is expected to be worth 40 billion rubles.