The German government is likely to announce the nationalization of energy company Uniper tomorrow. Germany would plan to invest 8 billion euros into the ailing gas importer, reports Reuters news agency based on those involved in the deal.
If Germany does indeed nationalize the energy company, the German government‘s total capital injection into the company amounts to 29 billion euros. In recent months, Uniper has already been supported with loans and assets from the state.
The government now wants to buy a 78 percent majority stake in Uniper. The shares are taken over from Uniper’s Finnish parent company, Fortum, of which the Finnish government is again a major shareholder.
Surviving the energy crisis
A Uniper spokesperson says that the deal is not closed yet. According to the energy company, “final talks” are being held with the government. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow.
The chairman of the Uniper works council insists in the German newspaper Rheinische Post that nationalization is good news. “We need the state as a major shareholder to survive the energy crisis and to successfully complete the energy transition in the long term.”
Buying expensive gas
The takeover must prevent the German energy sector from falling over. Energy companies in the country are struggling financially now that there is hardly any gas coming from Russia due to Western sanctions. For example, Russia has stopped gas supplies via the important Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline for some time. However, Uniper still has to supply gas to customers and is therefore forced to buy expensive gas elsewhere.
Bankruptcies of major energy companies would be a blow to the German economy. Bloomberg news agency recently reported that the German government is also having advanced discussions about buying a majority stake in energy concerns VNG and Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE).