Germany prepares €9bn rescue package for utility as gas prices skyrocket

Utilities group Uniper yesterday asked the German government for a bailout and warned losses could reach 10 billion euros this year as Moscow’s economic war with Europe claims its biggest corporate casualty yet.

Niper, which has been struggling to meet delivery commitments as falling Russian supplies sent gas prices soaring, said it is seeking additional financing by increasing a credit facility with state-owned KfW Bank.

“If you look at the price differences and the missing quantities, we could accumulate losses of 10 billion euros this year,” said CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach at a press conference at the Düsseldorf headquarters.

He also said consumers should be aware that “very, very high price waves” were still underway after sky-high wholesale prices were passed on.

But gas supplies have not yet been curtailed and there is no impending insolvency.

The SPD politician Andreas Bovenschulte told the Federal Council that he had heard of a possible cash injection of nine billion euros for Uniper and thus confirmed media reports about the amount.

As Germany’s largest gas importer, Uniper was hit hardest by a price hike following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Moscow’s subsequent shortage of gas supplies.

The company announced that its Finnish majority shareholder Fortum had submitted a proposal to the federal government that would provide for the shielding of system-critical German state-owned companies.

Fortum said in a statement that several alternatives were being discussed for the company, also Germany’s largest gas storage operator, but no decision had been made.

“Fortum has already provided significant support to Uniper with a EUR 8 billion credit facility, which includes both a shareholder loan and parent company guarantees, almost fully drawn by Uniper,” the Finnish company said.

Germany passed legislative changes on Thursday and Friday that offer the government ways to help companies through the current energy crisis. Germany prepares €9bn rescue package for utility as gas prices skyrocket

Fry Electronics Team

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