Germany Agrees Deal to Nationalize Uniper -- Update
By Dominic Chopping
Germany on Wednesday agreed a deal to nationalize energy
supplier Uniper SE in a move aimed at securing energy supply in
Finnish energy group Fortum Oyj said it has agreed to sell its
stake in Uniper to the German state, with Germany underwriting an 8
billion euro ($7.98 billion) capital injection and buying Fortum's
stake for around EUR500 million.
Uniper was Germany's largest importer of Russian natural gas
until recently but suffered heavy losses after Moscow cut supplies
in recent months and was forced to buy gas on the market where
prices have hit record highs.
In July Germany pledged to take a 30% stake in Uniper and
extended credit lines as part of a bailout package, but since then
the European energy crisis has escalated further and the severity
of the situation mean that previously agreed measures are
insufficient and difficult to implement, Fortum said.
To date, Uniper has accumulated close to EUR8.5 billion in
gas-related losses and can't continue to fulfil its role as a
critical provider of security of supply as a privately-owned
company, Fortum added.
Wednesday's deal will replace July's agreement, with Uniper
issuing 4.7 billion new shares to the German state at EUR1.70 a
share and state-owned bank KfW providing financing to Uniper
according to its liquidity needs.
Germany will then buy Fortum's 293 million shares in Uniper at
EUR1.70 a share and finance the redemption of Fortum's EUR4 billion
shareholder loan granted to Uniper with Fortum released from the
EUR4 billion parent company guarantee it had pledged.
Fortum held around 80% in Uniper at the time of July's initial
bailout, with that stake diluting to 56% after the deal.
As part of the deal Fortum will have a right of first offer in
case Uniper intends to divest all or parts of its Swedish hydro and
nuclear assets until the end of 2026.
"Today's agreement provides clarity on the ownership structure,
allows us to continue our business and to fulfil our role as a
system-critical energy supplier," Uniper Chief Executive
Klaus-Dieter Maubach said.
"The amendment of the stabilization package announced in July
was necessary against the backdrop of the further intensification
of the energy crisis."
Completion of the agreed transaction is currently expected by
the end of this year.
Upon completion of the capital injection and share purchase, the
German state will own around 98.5% of Uniper.
Write to Dominic Chopping at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 21, 2022 03:03 ET (07:03 GMT)
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