- Germany is nationalizing gas importer Uniper as it seeks to secure its energy supply before winter
- The government will spend another 8 billion euros on Uniper, having previously invested 15 billion.
- As part of the deal, Germany will buy Finnish utility Fortum’s stake in Uniper
Germany is nationalizing Uniper, its leading importer of Russian natural gas, in a deal that underscores Europe’s energy crisis.
Uniper announcement The German government will acquire a 99% stake in the company on Wednesday bought a 30% holding As part of a 15 billion euro ($14.9 billion) bailout in July. The latest deal will involve a capital increase aimed at providing another 8 billion euros in cash for Uniper, the company said.
Uniper has been struggling since Moscow cut gas supplies to Europe in response to Western sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine. European natural gas prices have risen 300% this year, with Dutch TTF FuturesThe continent’s benchmark price rose 7.2% to 208.40 euros per megawatt-hour on the ICE exchange early Wednesday.
Reduced supply and resulting price hikes have forced Uniper to buy natural gas at higher prices.
“At Uniper, we are aware of our responsibility for Germany and Europe,” said Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Mabach. said in a statement Wednesday. “We are committed to overcoming this crisis and doing our part to rebuild the energy supply in this country.”
Germany will buy state-owned Finnish utility Fortum’s stake in Uniper in a deal announced Wednesday. For about 500 million euros. 4 billion loan to Fortum Uniper will also be repaid.
Fortum CEO Marcus Rauramo said this statement: “The role of gas in Europe has changed fundamentally since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and so has the outlook for a gas-heavy portfolio. As a result, the business case for an integrated group is no longer viable.”
Uniper stock fell 36% to 2.73 euros in Frankfurt, and Fortum stock was up 9.2% to 13.21 euros in Helsinki, as of 7 a.m. ET.
The nationalization of Germany’s Uniper comes as the country tries to secure its energy supply ahead of winter. Earlier in September, Germany seized control of three oil refineries owned by Russian energy giant Rosneft. It has also fired mothballed coal-fired power plants to help meet electricity demand.