astora: change in partner shares

Our shareholders BASF/Wintershall and Gazprom have agreed to intensify their collaboration in shared upstream activities.

As part of this agreement, the hitherto jointly operated natural gas trade and storage business, including astora, will be entirely transferred to our shareholder Gazprom. In return Wintershall will be given shares in Russian natural gas deposits. Wintershall wants to concentrate more on its core competence – exploration & production directly at the source. Provided that the supervisory authorities agree, this legally binding agreement shall be implemented by the end of 2013.

astora is one of the largest natural gas storage operators in Europe with capacities in Rehden in northern Germany, in Haidach in Austria as well as in Jemgum. In future astora will be supported by a strong partner. Through the expansion of Gazprom’s commitment, astora is now excellently equipped for the competition in the European natural gas market and gains whole new perspectives.

With the asset swap, Gazprom is underlining its considerable interest in and commitment to the European gas market, in which astora already plays an important role as one of the largest storage operators.