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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Completes Purchase of British-Based Gas Shipper

Gazprom said it completed the acquisition of British-based Natural Gas Shipping Services, enabling the state-controlled giant to expand further in the liberalized British market.

The purchase gives Gazprom "a platform to continue the growth of a strong retail customer base in the deregulated U.K. market," Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev, the company's head of exports, said Friday in a statement, without disclosing the terms of the transaction.

Medvedev is also the chairman of Gazprom Marketing and Trading, which carried out the acquisition.

Natural Gas Shipping Services, based in Wilmslow, England, handles shipments for gas supplier Pennine Natural Gas, which was acquired by Gazprom last year.

Philip Dewhurst, a spokesman for Gazprom Marketing and Trading, described Natural Gas Shipping Services as a "sister company" to Pennine and a "very small business with less than 1 percent of the U.K. gas market" in an e-mail on June 27.

Gazprom Marketing and Trading already owned part of Natural Gas Shipping Services and had an option to buy the remainder.

"This is a very significant development for us because we can now invest further in our retail business," Vitaly Vasiliyev, CEO of Gazprom Marketing and Trading, said in the statement.

In June, Medvedev said Gazprom would make an acquisition in Britain "in the nearest future," and that spectators at the Wimbledon tennis tournament "will hear about" the deal. Dewhurst later said Medvedev was talking about Natural Gas Shipping Services. "The deal he referred to is the completion of our acquisition of NGSS, following our acquisition a year ago of Pennine," Dewhurst wrote in an e-mail on June 27.