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News // Oil and gas worldwide

Gazprom official accuses Ruhrgas of hushing up scandal

21 March 2001 , 14:13598
A prominent Gazprom shareholder has implicated Germany's Ruhrgas in a financial scandal surrounding the gas company, reports said Monday. In an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt, Gazprom supervisory board member Boris Fyoderov accused Ruhrgas of securing a bigger stake in Gazprom by keeping quiet about the Russian firm's misdealing.
The former Russian finance minister wants to know why Ruhrgas founded joint venture Gerosgas with Gazprom in April 1999, through which it raised its stake in the Russian company to 5%. He also wants information on the conversion of 1.4% of Gazprom shares in the form of American Deposit Receipts and their present ownership. "Did they go to Ruhrgas? Was Ruhrgas given a "sweet deal" for its relations with the Gazprom management?" Fyodorov was cited as asking.

The Russian stockmarket was rife with rumors that Ruhrgas had been able to secure at least some of the converted ADRs, Fyodorov was cited as saying. In support of his suspicions, the former finance minister referred to the strange behavior of Ruhrgas's Burckhardt Bergmann, elected to the Gazprom board at the company's annual general meeting last June. "Whenever the supervisory board discusses a critical issue, the Ruhrgas representative makes like he isn't there and kept quiet."

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