- Berlin to inject up to 25 billion euros in additional equity
- Shareholders will meet on December 19 to approve the package
- Uniper awaits clearance from the European Commission
FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Uniper, the biggest victim of Europe’s energy crisis to date, said Berlin should inject up to 25 billion euros ($25.8 billion) in funds additional equity in the troubled gas importer to cover losses. incurred after Russia cut off supplies.
The amended bailout deal reflects the cancellation of a gas tax intended to help German gas importers with additional costs and raises the cost of Uniper’s nationalization to more than 51 billion euros.
Sources said last month that tens of billions more dollars were needed to stabilize Uniper after Berlin decided to scrap the tax, which would have allowed gas companies to pass on most of the higher supply costs to gas companies. clients.
“This is nothing less than a substantial part of Germany’s gas bill, which will now be paid for by tax revenue – and not, as originally planned, through a gas surcharge” , said Uniper (UN01.DE) chief executive Klaus Dieter Maubach. Wednesday.
“Without this relief, our customers, including many municipal utilities, would have inevitably faced an even higher cost wave,” he added.
Shares of Uniper, which are down 84% year-to-date, traded down 4.5% at 12:42 GMT.
According to the most recent agreement, Berlin will subscribe to tranches of authorized capital totaling up to 25 billion euros to cover losses from Russian gas volumes in circulation until 2024, the largest gas importer in the world has said. ‘Germany.
Investors will vote on the deal – including up to €33bn of state-guaranteed equity, up to €18bn of credit lines from state lender KfW (KFW.UL) and 500 million to buy out Uniper parent Fortum (FORTUM.HE) – at a meeting on Dec. 19.
Uniper nearly collapsed after Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM), its biggest supplier, cut off gas flows earlier this year in what Berlin said was a retaliation for sanctions over the war in Ukraine. that Moscow denies.
It not only triggered a net loss of 40 billion euros at Uniper, the largest German company in history, but also forced Germany to nationalize the company to avoid what it described as an effect of the Lehman Brothers style in the energy sector.
“The support of the German government is indispensable for us, and we also count on the support of the European Commission,” Maubach said. “This is the only way to ensure the sustainability of Uniper in the future and thus contribute to the energy security of our customers.”
Uniper said it was in talks with the European Commission, which must approve the bailout deal under state aid and merger control law, adding it expected to get fired green in Brussels ahead of the shareholders’ meeting scheduled for December.
($1 = 0.9697 euros)
Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Additional reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Kirsten Donovan
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