GERMANY's Ruhrgas and the French firm Gaz de France have taken over managing control of Slovak gas storage monopoly Nafta Gbely, assuming four of five seats on the company's board of directors.
The change results from the privatisation of gas utility SPP, in which the German-French consortium acquired a 49 per cent stake with managing control in early July. SPP owns a 56 per cent share in Nafta Gbely.
Nafta Gbely reported net profits of Sk220 million ($5 million) on sales of Sk1.7 billion for the first half of 2002. The company plans to close this year with sales of Sk3.2 billion and net profits of Sk572 million.
Nafta Gbely was founded in 1992 as a monopoly natural gas storage company. While SPP holds the majority stake, German gas firm RWE Gas controls 40 per cent of the company after having increased its share through a public takeover bid last year.