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September 15, 2022

Germany looking to take majority stake in gas importer Uniper

The government could fully nationalise the ailing energy giant to avert a potential collapse of the energy system.

The German government is considering increasing its stake in ailing energy giant Uniper to more than 50%, reported Reuters.

The government may fully nationalise the gas importer to avert a potential collapse of the energy system amid the worsening energy crisis.

In July, Germany agreed on a rescue package offer of €15bn ($15.3bn) to help Uniper avert bankruptcy as Russia continued to cut gas supplies to Europe.

As part of the bailout deal, the government agreed to purchase a 30% stake in Uniper from Fortum.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that the company could require more than the support package. This could be worth as much as €20bn ($20bn).

Uniper was cited by Reuters as saying: “The parties are looking into alternative solutions, inter alia a straight equity increase that would result in a significant majority participation by the German Government.”

A spokesperson for the ministry said: “We want discussions to be successful, which is why we are not commenting.”

A source close to the matter told Reuters: “Nationalisation is the only solution left, Uniper’s capital resources are totally under water. Mathematically speaking, there is nothing else that could be done.”

Fortum said in a statement: “Due to the increased uncertainties in the operating environment, the parties are also looking into alternative solutions. No decisions beyond what was agreed in the stabilisation package in July have been made.”

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