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Germany probing RWE sale of unit to Russian billionaire

Mikhail Fridman speaks at a press conference in Moscow on June 16, 2008The German economy ministry said Sunday it has launched a probe into power giant RWE’s planned 5.1-billion-euro sale of its Dea unit to a Russian-controlled investment fund. A ministry spokeswoman confirmed a report in news weekly Der Spiegel that it was looking into RWE’s plans to sell Dea, which specialises in oil and gas exploration and production, to a Luxembourg-based fund called LetterOne controlled by Russia’s Alfa Group. Alfa Group belongs to billionaire entrepreneur Mikhail Fridman. The spokeswoman told AFP that the investigation would examine whether the deal violated Germany’s strategic interests as laid out in its export laws, including the security of its energy supply.

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