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Germany: government nationalizes energy giant Uniper

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The German government has approved the nationalization of the utility company Uniper in an effort to keep the sector afloat in the wake of the global energy crisis.

Having already agreed in July to bail out the main gas importer with a € 15 billion ($ 14.95 billion) bailout, the German state will now buy the 56% stake in Finland’s Fortum for 0.5 billions of euros, thus earmarked for the ownership of approximately 98.5% of Uniper.

“Since the stabilization package for Uniper was agreed in July, Uniper’s situation has worsened rapidly and significantly further; as a result, new measures have been agreed to resolve the situation, ”Fortum announced in a statement on Wednesday morning.

Uniper is Germany’s largest gas importer and has been crushed by the sharp reduction in gas flows from Russia, which has caused prices to soar. Earlier this month, Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom cut off gas flows to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline indefinitely, a move Uniper’s chief executive Klaus-Dieter Maubach told CNBC. which would have aggravated the company’s difficulties.

“In the current circumstances of the European energy markets and recognizing the seriousness of Uniper’s situation, the sale of Uniper is the right step to take, not only for Uniper but also for Fortum,” said Markus Rauramo, CEO of Fortum. “The role of gas in Europe has changed dramatically since Russia attacked Ukraine, as have the prospects for a gas-intensive portfolio. Consequently, the business case for an integrated group is no longer sustainable ”.

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