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MVM in talks to buy E.ON gas unit in Hungary - newspaper

Hungarian state-controlled power wholesaler MVM could soon gain control over E.ON's Hungarian gas business, business daily Világgazdaság said on Friday.

MVM is holding talks with leading officials of E.ON on the role they could undertake in the new arrangement and the new contract and the amount of the severance pay they would accept, the paper said, without citing a source.

Several employees of the German-owned Hungarian E.ON group have already left the company in recent months, and E.ON's gas-wholesale and gas-storage divisions would be controlled by the state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works, but perhaps not its electricity division, it said.

The paper said ongoing talks suggest some kind of agreement may have already been reached. The paper earlier reported MVM offered €800 million for the German company's Hungarian gas business, while E.ON wanted €1.2 billion.

Világgazdaság also learnt that national development minister Tamás Fellegi has recently held talks with his German colleague, but the paper received no information from the ministry's press department on what was discussed at the talks.

The government plans for the MVM group to have a major role in the gas industry, the paper said, and the range of the tasks constituting the future portfolio is expanding month by month.

Neither E.ON, nor the MVM group wished to comment on the report to MTI. MVM, however, said its medium-term strategic goal is to become an integrated energy industry group and it is already active on the gas market.

MTI has also contacted the National Development Ministry, which oversees the energy sector, but the ministry has so far not responded.