MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Economics Minister German Gref believes that the German multinational giant Siemens should be given the go-ahead with its plan to take over Silovye Mashiny, Russia's leading power equipment company.
According to Gref, experts at the Economics Ministry have analyzed all the pluses and minuses of the takeover deal and submitted their conclusions to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.
The deal should be allowed to come through, but with conditions attached, argues Gref. Specifically, Siemens could be made to assume certain obligations with regard to maintaining production levels and meeting the government's defense orders.
In return for the takeover deal, Siemens, a global leader in the power turbine business, has pledged advanced technologies and at least 250 million euros in investment. It has also promised to build the world's third largest power equipment facility. Gref sees the prospective merger as a good opportunity to preserve and upgrade Russia's defense industry.
In the summer of 2004, Siemens and Silovye Mashiny's owner, Interros, announced they had agreed to set up a joint venture, whose authorized capital would include 71 percent interest in Mashiny. Siemens' bid for the stake is currently under consideration at the Russian Federal Anti-Trust Service.
In mid-March 2005, Gref said the sale of the Mashiny stake to Siemens had a number of objectionable points and that appropriate government agencies were discussing how to go about them. The bid is yet to be approved by the Cabinet.