Germany plans to spend up to €10 billion to rescue Uniper
The gas importer will discuss measures of financial assistance with the German authorities, Chancellor Scholz will take part in the meeting. Germany can allocate up to €10 billion and get a 30% stake in Uniper. The company has suffered from a reduction in gas supplies
The German authorities are close to concluding an agreement with the energy company Uniper on the allocation of financial assistance in connection with the reduction in Russian gas supplies, official Berlin may receive a stake in the company. This is reported by the Handelsblatt newspaper, Bloomberg and Reuters agencies, citing sources.
Germany intends to invest more than €5.1 billion in Uniper, while the total investment is unlikely to exceed €10 billion, Berlin may buy hybrid securities along with common stock at par value to raise capital, the sources said.
The exact amount is still being discussed, its final approval is expected in the coming days. In exchange, the German authorities will receive a blocking stake of up to 30% of Uniper's securities, Bloomberg and Handelsblatt sources said. Interlocutors of Reuters specified that a share of 15 & ndash; 30% is being discussed. Now the largest shareholder of the company is the Finnish state energy company Fortum Oyj, it owns 78%.
In addition, the management of Uniper is negotiating with the German state bank KfW to obtain a new credit line. The parties plan to discuss the details of support from the German government at a meeting on Friday, July 22, with the participation of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, write Bloomberg and Handelsblatt. Two people familiar with Reuters noted that Uniper's aid package is scheduled to be agreed by July 25 before the company could face more problems.
Negotiations between the parties have been going on for several weeks, Uniper's problems began after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, which led to an increase in energy prices. The German company was forced to purchase large volumes of Russian gas at higher prices on the spot market.
On July 8, Uniper turned to the German government for help, on July 11, the company began to withdraw gas from its own storage facilities, in a week the amount of fuel seized reached 2 TWh By July 18, Uniper's credit line from the German development bank KfW in the amount of €2 million was exhausted.
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“We are compelled to take measures that must be clearly defined as emergency,” — Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach emphasized at the time.
Uniper is one of the largest electricity generation companies in the world, it is the third largest zero-carbon electricity producer and the second largest largest nuclear producer, the website says.
The company was ready to pay Russia for gas under a new scheme through Gazprombank, which has been in effect since April. Uniper made its first payment at the end of May.
Gazprom in June, he twice reduced gas supplies to Germany via Nord Stream 1, the company explained this situation by the Siemens Energy turbine being repaired in Canada. Her return was hampered by the current sanctions. After requests from official Berlin, Ottawa agreed to return the turbine. According to Kommersant, she was sent on July 18, she will arrive in Russia by July 24.
On July 11, the Russian company completely stopped the flow of gas through the pipeline until July 21, explaining this by planned work. “Gazprom” sent a force majeure notice to European companies, indicating that it could not guarantee gas supplies from June 14, Reuters wrote. Uniper considered the supplier's demand unreasonable and rejected it.
The German government and Siemens Energy management considered that political reasons, not technical conditions, were the reasons for the reduction in supplies. According to Vice Chancellor Robert Habek, repairs on the gas pipeline were not to be carried out until autumn, and they were also not supposed to affect more than 40% of Nord Stream's infrastructure. “Even if it were, it would never justify such a large reduction in gas flow,” — noted in Siemens Energy. The Kremlin denied the accusations and assured that they value the reputation of a reliable supplier.
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