Germany Nationalizes Uniper in $8B Deal Amid Russia Gas Crisis
- Germany is nationalizing gas importer Uniper in a bid to secure its energy supply before winter.
- The government will invest a further 8 billion euros in Uniper, having already invested 15 billion euros.
- As part of the deal, Germany will buy Finnish utility Fortum’s stake in Uniper.
Germany is nationalizing its main Russian gas importer, Uniper, in a deal that underscores Europe’s energy crisis.
Unite Announce On Wednesday, the German government will acquire a 99 percent stake in the company, owning bought a 30% stake In July, as part of a 15 billion euro ($14.9 billion) rescue package. The company said the latest deal would involve a financing aimed at providing Uniper with another 8 billion euros in cash.
Uniper has struggled since Moscow restricted gas supplies to Europe in response to Western sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine. European gas prices soar 300% this year Netherlands TTF FuturesEarlier on Wednesday, the benchmark price in continental Europe rose 7.2 percent to 208.40 euros per megawatt-hour on the ICE exchange.
The supply crunch and the resulting price hike meant Uniper was forced to buy gas at higher prices.
“At Uniper, we are aware of our responsibility towards Germany and Europe,” Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said in a statement Wednesday. “We are committed to doing our part to overcome this crisis and restructure this country’s energy supply.”
The deal announced Wednesday will see Germany buy state-owned Finnish utility Fortum’s stake in Uniper about 500 million euros. Fortum will also repay a $4 billion loan to Uniper.
Fortum CEO Markus Rauramo statement“Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, the role of gas in Europe has fundamentally changed, as has the outlook for heavy gas portfolios. As a result, the business case for integrating the group is no longer viable.”
At 7 a.m. ET, Frankfurt-based Uniper was down 36% at 2.73 euros and Helsinki-based Fortum was up 9.2% at 13.21 euros.
Germany’s nationalisation of Uniper comes as the country tries to secure its energy supply ahead of winter. In early September, Germany took control of three refineries owned by Russian energy giant Rosneft. It has also started mothballed coal-fired power plants to help meet electricity demand.