Germany nationalizes gas giant Uniper to stave off winter energy collapse

Germany will nationalize Uniper SE in a historic move to bail out the country’s biggest gas importer and avert a collapse of the energy sector in Europe’s largest economy this winter.

The government in Berlin will inject EUR 8 billion into the Düsseldorf-based energy supplier via a capital increase at EUR 1.70 per share, the Finnish parent company Fortum Oyj announced in a statement on Wednesday. Uniper has amassed €8.5 billion in gas-related losses after Russia halted supplies to Europe and ratcheted up prices for alternative sources.

“Given the current circumstances in the European energy markets and considering Uniper’s serious situation, the sale of Uniper is the right move,” said Markus Rauramo, Chief Executive Officer and President of Fortum.

As part of the deal, Germany will fully take over Uniper and buy Fortum’s controlling stake of around 78 percent for about €500 million, said Fortum, which is majority-owned by the Finnish government. After the transaction closes, the German state will own about 98.5 percent of Uniper, he added.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition is determined to ensure Uniper’s survival in the coming months, when the energy crisis could deepen as temperatures head towards winter.

Uniper has already received a number of rescue packages and bailout loans, but these have quickly been overtaken by the scale of the crisis and more robust government support is required. Germany nationalizes gas giant Uniper to stave off winter energy collapse

Fry Electronics Team

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