Italian energy titan Enel has acquired a 49.5% stake in Russian energy trading company Rusenergosbyt (RES) for $105 million.

Res supplies domestic and major industrial customers across Russia, including Gazprom, Rosneft and the Russian Railways and is expected to sell 22 TWh this year.

Fulvio Conti, Enel chief executive commented: “Enel further develops its presence on the Russian electricity market characterized by a huge growth potential”.

The deal follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in March by Conti and Anatoly Chubais, chairman of UES which set out the interest of both parties in the dynamic development of the Russian electricity sector and its restructuring aimed at attracting investments for the construction of new generation capacity.

The document stresses UES’ interest to attract strategic investors into the Russian electricity sector and Enel’s desire to acquire a stake in wholesale or territorial generating companies, but not less than a blocking minority of 25% plus one share.