nationalize its largest gas company

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Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. This is what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz must have thought to carry out the decision to nationalize Uniper, Germany’s largest energy company and its largest gas importer.


8,000 million euros and 99% of Uniper. The German government has agreed with Uniper, the great importer of gas from Germany, a capital increase of 8,000 million euros that will come from public coffers. In exchange, the German government will control 99% of the shares, worth €1.70 each.

The company to date was controlled by the Finnish company Fortum. For the change of hands, the government will buy 56% of the capital owned by the Finnish company for a value of 500 million euros.

The German bank will be responsible for ensuring economic viability. Germany’s great fear was that Uniper would collapse economically due to Russian gas. In the first half of 2022 alone, Uniper’s losses have been 12,418 million euros.

To deal with the situation, the state bank KfW will provide financing and ensure liquidity. It is not something new for that, since Uniper requested credits worth 13,000 million in August. These credit lines will be replaced after the acquisition.

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“Sacrificing” the great energetic. The words of Klaus-Dieter Maubach, CEO of Uniper, describe well the message that is to be sent. ““Today’s agreement allows us to continue our business and fulfill our role as a supplier of critical energy to the system. This ensures the supply of energy for businesses, municipal utilities and consumers. […] At Uniper we are aware of our responsibility towards Germany and Europe.”

The nationalization is the final step after the initiative in July to approve a support package worth 19,000 million euros, which included a 30% shareholding. That was insufficient and now it has led to a far-reaching movement: the nationalization of a key company in order to avoid collapse. Germany is aware of the role it plays in the European energy crisis and is taking exceptional measures. Time will tell if it is the right decision.

Image | Roel WijnantsFollow

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. This is what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz must have thought to carry out the decision…

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. This is what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz must have thought to carry out the decision…

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