Gazprom eyes German alternative energy company Envacom: report

Gazprom, the Russian energy giant is in talks to buy Envacom Service GmbH, a German energy and telecommunications company, German daily business paper Handelsblatt today reported, citing a spokesman from Envacom.

"It is correct, that Gazprom is interested in buying all shares of Envacom Service GmbH," the paper cited a spokesman for Envacom as saying.

If successful, the deal would be the $112-billion Russian gas giant's first acquisition of an alternative energy company in the European Union.

Envacom may also become Gazprom's second European company, which the Russian gas export monopoly will use to market its gas after its Czech unit, Vemex, last month acquired a 51-per cent controlling stake in RSP Energy, a supplier of electricity and gas in the Czech Republic.

Founded in 1999, Walluf-based Envacom, a solar and wind energy operator, also offers mobile and Internet access services to more than 500,000 customers in Germany, according to its website.

Handelsblatt said that electricity and gas sales account for only about a quarter of those customer numbers.

Envacom's energy business, which was launched in 2008, is expected to generate sales of about €75 million ($104 million) this year.

German regulator last week said that Gazprom Marketing & Trading, a subsidiary of the Russian gas giant, has put in a proposal seeking its approval for the acquisition of Envacom.