Conexus ap­plies for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion with Gazprom share­hold­ers still on board

Baltic News Network - - News -

In spite of the fact that there are rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Rus­sian Gazprom con­cern among share­hold­ers of Conexus Baltic Grid, the com­pany has de­cided to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Conexus chair­per­son Zane Kotāne ex­plains – to ac­com­plish own­er­ship rights di­vi­sion’s main ob­jec­tive, Conexus, re­gard­less of the com­po­si­tion of its share­hold­ers, has man­aged to en­sure that the trans­mis­sion sys­tem’s op­er­a­tor is able to make de­ci­sions in­de­pen­dently, en­sur­ing trans­parency and avoid­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion to­wards trans­mis­sion sys­tem’s users and mar­ket par­tic­i­pants. When pre­par­ing nec­es­sary doc­u­ments, Conexus com­plied with Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s ex­pla­na­tions re­gard­ing sep­a­ra­tion of own­er­ship rights and ex­e­cu­tion of con­trol in com­pli­ance with re­quire­ments for trans­mis­sion sys­tem op­er­a­tor’s in­de­pen­dence. With that, Conexus has pre­pared doc­u­ments in ac­cor­dance with Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion’s re­quire­ments for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, which de­tail the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion to prove safe func­tion of IT sys­tems, pro­tec­tion of com­mer­cial in­for­ma­tion and equal treat­ment of all mar­ket par­tic­i­pants. Dur­ing the prepa­ra­tion process of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments, an in­de­pen­dent IT au­di­tor con­firmed the safety for cir­cu­la­tion of com­mer­cial in­for­ma­tion and did not find prob­lems with as­so­ci­ated pro­cesses.

«Our sub­mit­ted doc­u­ments will now be eval­u­ated by spe­cial­ists of the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion. Conexus is pre­pared to co­op­er­ate to pro­vide the com­mis­sion with all the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion it may need to make a de­ci­sion,» said Kotāne.

When asked to ex­plain if Gazprom’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives among Conexus share­hold­ers may present an ob­sta­cle for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, Kotāne said that the com­pany’s board is un­able to in­flu­ence Gazprom’s de­ci­sions in re­gards to sale of shares.

«But we can­not try de­vel­op­ing busi­ness prin­ci­ples in a way to fit re­quire­ments for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and in spite of Gazprom own­ing shares in Conexus. We have fol­lowed Europe’s def­i­ni­tions for sep­a­ra­tion of shares. Share­holder rights are ex­pressed in many dif­fer­ent ways. There are dif­fer­ent ways that are per­mit­ted with preser­va­tion of shares, and those that are not per­mit­ted. It is es­tab­lished in Conexus statutes that the only rights avail­able to share­hold­ers that have not sold shares be­fore in­de­pen­dence re­quire­ment came into force, which ap­plies to Gazprom in this case, are for div­i­dends and liq­ui­da­tion quo­tas. As a re­sult, any rights that are nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with share­hold­ers – vot­ing rights, man­age­ment rights, in­for­ma­tion re­cep­tion rights – are not avail­able to Gazprom,» said Kotāne. She also notes that there has al­ready been one meet­ing of share­hold­ers and one meet­ing of the com­pany’s coun­cil this year. Gazprom rep­re­sen­ta­tives were present at nei­ther of those meet­ings.

«With that, we have pro­posed our own so­lu­tion to the reg­u­la­tor to re­duce risks in re­la­tion to cer­ti­fi­ca­tion,» added Kotāne. An agree­ment was reached on 15 De­cem­ber with Uniper on the pro­cure­ment of 18.31% of Conexus Baltic Grid. On 27 De­cem­ber, Conexus reached an agree­ment with Itera Latvija on pro­cure­ment of shares. Pro­cure­ment of shares was per­formed by Lat­vian state-owned Augst­s­prieguma tīkls. No in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on sale of Gazprom shares.

Gazprom owns 34.1% of Conexus Baltic Grid, whereas 29.06% are owned by Mar­guerite Gas, 34.36% – by Augst­s­prieguma tīkls and 2.48% – by other share­hold­ers.

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