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The German government and the biggest German buyer of Russian gas, Uniper, agreed on Friday on a $15 billion bailout package to help the energy giant which has been reeling from reduced Russian gas supply and soaring prices of non-Russian gas.
Uniper, its majority owner, Finland’s Fortum, and the German government finalized today the bailout package of $15.2 billion (15 billion euro), Uniper said.
The measures to support Uniper include the German government taking a 30-percent stake in Uniper for $271 million (267 million euro) via a capital increase, the government making available further capital of up to $7.8 billion (7.7 billion euro) against the issuance of mandatory convertible instruments, and German state-owned KfW bank providing Uniper with an additional $7.1 billion (7 billion euro) in liquidity support through an increase of its existing credit facility.
Since Russia slashed supply to Germany and other major consumers in Europe, gas providers and buyers in Germany have been struggling with surging prices of non-Russian gas, which is severely burdening the companies’ finances.
Uniper said earlier this month it had initiated talks with the German government on possible measures to stabilize its finances amid low Russian gas deliveries and soaring gas prices.
“Uniper entered into discussions with the German government on possible stabilization measures for which a number of instruments could be considered, such as guarantees and collateral, increasing the current not yet drawn KfW credit facility, and equity investments,” the company said in a statement.
Germany is also amending its energy security law to allow the government to take stakes in struggling energy firms or impose levies on consumers.
“I’m pleased and relieved that today’s agreement stabilizes Uniper financially as a system-critical energy partner and preserves it as a single entity. This ensures that Uniper can continue to reliably supply its customers, including numerous municipal utilities and industrial companies, with energy,” said Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach.
“Uniper is a company of vital importance for the economic development of our country and for the energy supply of our citizens,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.