Competition authority OKs takeover in Hungarian gas sector

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The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) cleared the takeover by Magyar Áramszolgáltató (MÁSZ), indirectly owned by German utilities giant RWE, to take over the clients of Hungarian gas distributor Tigáz on the deregulated market, RWEʼs local units said yesterday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

RWE-owned electricity distributors ELMŰ and ÉMÁSZ said GVH approved the deal on March 1. The transaction is expected to be closed on March 31, 2016, they added.

Tigáz announced the takeover a week earlier.

The takeover will involve almost 3,000 clients, Tigáz said, according to MTI.

Tigáz, a unit of Italyʼs ENI, earlier agreed to transfer its retail clients to FŐGÁZ, the recently established National Utilities Companyʼs bridgehead onto the gas market, by the end of October, 2016.

In a statement released shortly after Tigáz made its announcement, RWE said MÁSZ would take over the clients from April 1, giving it a 10% market share just nine months after it entered the local gas market.

MÁSZ, which is active on the electricity market, had after-tax profit of HUF 1.2 billion on revenue of HUF 140.7 bln in 2014, according to public records.

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