Germany’s biggest energy utility, E.ON, may sell its 3.5% stake worth $4bn to Russian energy giant Gazprom in the near future, the Russian media reported.

E.ON does not plan to sell the stake on the open market because of share price concerns, so a state-controlled Russian firm would be the most likely buyer, an unidentified financial market source told Vedomosti newspaper.

E.ON was not available to comment, Vedomosti said.

E.ON has discussed different options of divesting from Gazprom and proposed to sell the shares to Gazprom directly, a source at Gazprombank, a banking unit of the gas export monopoly said, according to Reuters.