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EU approves E.ON purchase of Mol gas units with conditions

German utility E.ON won conditional approval from the European Commission on Wednesday to buy the gas business of Hungary's Mol Rt, Reuters reported from Brussels. The approval is conditional on E.ON's pledge of measures that would result in a structural separation of the gas production and transmission activities retained by Mol and the commercial activities acquired by E.ON. "In light of these remedies, the Commission concluded that the merger would not significantly impede competition," the Commission said in a statement. If E.ON goes ahead with the purchase, it will acquire Mol's gas wholesale, trading and marketing activities, its gas storage activities, and its shareholding in Panrusgaz, a gas trading company jointly owned with Russia's Gazprom.
When the deal was announced in November 2004, the Hungarian oil and gas company said its total enterprise value, assuming all options to sell were exercised, was €2.2 billion, including debt. Mol planned to sell 75% minus one share of its gas storage and wholesale units to E.ON Ruhrgas International, a unit of E.ON. The two Mol units are Mol Natural Gas Supplier Rt and public utility wholesaler and gas trader Mol Natural Gas Storage. The Commission had raised concerns that the deal would create competition concerns for gas and electricity at all levels of the supply chain in Hungary.