Thomas Fok plans to take over the Estonian gas market

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Chinese businessman Henry Fok's son Thomas Fok plans to take over the Estonian gas market, Postimees writes.

In mid-April this year, Thomas Fok made a proposal to Fortum to sell 51% of the shares of Eesti Gaas. The Chinese businessman offered the Finns for the transaction EUR 20 million, which according to a source of Postimees exceeded almost twice the offer made by the gas company's minority shareholders.

Eesti Gaas major shareholders Fortum (51%) and Gazprom (37%) are planning to sell their stakes in the former gas monopoly due to the opening of the gas market.

Fok sent via his representative Martin Napa a greeting to Postimees, where he confirmed his intentions, but suggested to talk about the business plan related to Estonia a couple of weeks later, when he arrives in Tallinn. "We want to provide clear answers to all the questions, but Mr. Fok will do it willingly in late May," said Napa.

Fortum pointed to the fact that the sale of the shares of Eesti Gaas has not yet been officially announced, and thus the bourse-listed company does not provide answers to the questions on when the sale of the shares of Eesti Gaas would be declared and what the expected value of the transaction is.

Chairman of the Council of Eesti Gaas Aarne Saar, who also represents the company's minority shareholders, confirmed that he is aware of the influential Chinese businessman's intentions. "There are a lot of Chinese moving around in the world today, who have a lot of money in some way and who are looking to invest," said Saar. "Since Fortum is a listed company, in addition to the money hoped from the share sale transaction, the other party's transparency and the origin of the money is also important for them, which will certainly affect the decision." The company going to the Chinese is not in the interests of Saar and his business partners, because they want to get an upper hand in the Estonian gas business themselves.

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