Polish billionaire buys Ukrainian gas firm in middle of Naftogaz debate

Polish richest man, billionaire Jan Kulczyk, whose fortune was estimated by Forbes to be $2.1 billion in March, is increasing his energy investments in Ukraine.

His Kulczyk Oil Ventures, through its subsidiary, Loon Ukraine Holding, bought a 70% stake in of one of Ukraine’s largest private producers of natural gas, KUB-Gas, for $45 million; the deal was completed last Friday. Kulczyk Oil Ventures, which went public in May on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (symbol: KOV); used part of the proceeds from the IPO to close deal in Ukraine.

Dariusz Mioduski, the president of Kulczyk Oil Ventures, told the Polish press that, “We plan to increase production in Ukraine and KUB-Gas has enough potential to at least double its current production.” Kulczyk Oil is also exploring opportunities across  Central and Eastern Europe as well as in other hydrocarbon basins in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Poland’s foray into Ukraine comes in the midst of news from Russia that its Gazprom gas monopoly has offered to merge with Ukraine’s state energy firm, Naftogaz. Ukraine has significant gas resources that need development investment.

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