Fortum to sell stake in Estonian natural gas transmission company

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Fortum to sell stake in Estonian natural gas transmission company

Fortum has agreed to sell its 51.4%-shareholding in the associated company AS Võrguteenus Valdus to the Estonian electricity transmission system operator Elering AS.

AS Võrguteenus Valdus is the owner of the Estonian gas transmission grid company AS EG Võrguteenus, which is the only gas transmission system operator in the country.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Fortum expects to finalise the transaction latest during the first quarter of 2015. The sale is expected to have a minor impact on Fortum's Q1/2015 result.

The divestment of the shareholding in AS Võrguteenus Valdus is a part of the company's efficiency programme launched in October 2012 and aiming at the disposal of non-core assets. The core of Fortum’s strategy lies in strong expertise in CO2-free hydro and nuclear power, resource-efficient combined heat and power (CHP) production as well as in operating in the energy markets.

Furthermore, Fortum's decision to sell is in line with the Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and the Estonian Natural Gas Act that require ownership unbundling of natural gas transmission and gas sales.

Fortum's operations focus on the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia and Poland. In 2013, Fortum’s sales totaled €6.1 billion and comparable operating profit was €1.6 billion.

A few days ago, E.ON and Fortum completed the €510 million sale of their shareholdings (20% and 31%, respectively) in Gasum, the Finnish gas company, to the Finnish State.

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