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Mystery Surrounds Slovak Gazprom

Gazprom and industry analysts said they were baffled Tuesday by a company called Gazprom s.r.o, which was registered last week by Slovakia's Justice Ministry.

Kommersant, which first reported the story, said Maltese firm Marica Limited owns 75 percent of the company while Slovakian Priemyselny park Partizanske has the remaining 25 percent. The company's charter capital was a hefty 500 million euros ($643.5 million), the report said.

"Gazprom's trademark is legally protected in Slovakia, like in most countries, but unfortunately this does not always preclude attempts to use our brand. Neither OJC Gazprom nor our subsidiaries have any relation to the recently registered Slovakian company Gazprom s.r.o.," Gazprom's press service told The Moscow Times.

Analysts also said it was unclear what the firm would try to achieve.

“So far, the sole purpose of the company’s existence remains a mystery. Gazprom s.r.o. in the Slovak business register lists no operations directly related to the energy industry. Furthermore, it is very unlikely that a company trying to imitate one of the best-known companies in the world would find shelter within an EU member country," said Milan Stabel, an analyst at Euromonitor International.

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