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Finland to buy majority of national grid operator

17 June 2009 – Finland is to buy a majority stake in national grid operator Fingrid, with the purchase price and timing yet to be decided.

The state plans to buy the shares of Fortum and Pohjolan Voima, both of which control a 25.1 per cent stake in the firm, and negotiations are ongoing. The sale must be done by 2012 to fulfil European Union regulations that separate energy producers and distributors.

“The state aims to have at least a 50.1 per cent stake in Fingrid,” Arto Rajala, chief councellor at the ministry of the economy, said.

“The unbundling process must be fulfilled by the end of 2012, but it is difficult to say how long the process will take,” Rajala added.

Finland currently owns 12.3 per cent of Fingrid, with the remaining shares owned mainly by insurance companies.