Reuters: Germany nationalizes gas company Uniper on Wednesday


Fortum, the largest shareholder in Uniper, which is itself largely owned by the Finnish state, confirmed to Yle that negotiations are underway, but that no deal has been reached on Tuesday evening.

The fate of the troubled energy company Uniper will probably be decided this week. Image: Mikko Ahmajärvi / Yle

Germany to announce nationalization of gas company Uniper on Wednesday, according to a report by Reuters news agency (siirryt toiseen palveluun) published Tuesday evening.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported: (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that the German government was making a deal to nationalize the troubled company.

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Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported that the details of the acquisition are still being worked out between Germany, Uniper and the majority shareholder of the troubled company Fortum, which itself has a majority stake in the Finnish state.

“While the contracts have not yet been signed, Berlin is aiming for an announcement later this week,” Bloomberg noted.

A Uniper spokesperson declined to comment when the news agency contacted him. In addition, neither Fortum nor the Finnish government has responded to the latest news so far.

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Compensation required

Finnish Minister of Property Management Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP), however, earlier on Tuesday reiterated Finland’s stance, which said Finland would not accept the nationalization of Uniper without compensation being paid.

According to Business Insider magazine, the acquisition of Uniper is estimated to cost $30 billion.

The German Ministry of Economy, which is leading negotiations on the Uniper deal, also had not yet commented on the Bloomberg report by mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

Since Russia stopped supplying gas to Germany, Uniper has been forced to buy expensive alternative supplies of LNG on the spot market, which has eaten up the cash reserves of the troubled company.

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In July, as Uniper lost millions of euros every day due to skyrocketing gas prices, the German state agreed to buy a 30 percent stake in Uniper, while the company offered up to 7.7 billion euros in financing. Uniper is Germany’s largest gas importer.

In August, the company reported an IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) net loss of more than EUR 12 billion for the first half of 2022.

Edit note added at 5:57 PM on 20.9.202 to indicate that Reuters reported a deal would be announced on Wednesday.


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