The Strategist

German Uniper asks for €9 billion in aid

07/11/2022 - 09:46

According to Bloomberg, the German energy holding company Uniper turned to the German government for financial support. The corporation asked for almost €9 billion, which is more than twice its market value.

In addition to asking for an increase in its credit line, the company offered the government the chance to purchase its shares. According to a previous article in Handelsblatt, the government may also permit the corporation to pass certain expenses along to customers. Sources for the newspaper indicate that the government may own more than 30% of the business.

Nationalization of the business was another option, but this is an improbable one. Fortum, the largest stakeholder in Uniper and owner of 78 percent of the company's shares, is controlled by the Finnish government, and Germany will not take any actions that would exacerbate political ties between the two nations, according to Handelsblatt.

Meanwhile, Fortum has reportedly expressed no interest in funding Uniper, according to Bloomberg. A €8 billion line of credit that was "nearly fully utilized," according to Fortum, has already "significantly" backed the business. Klaus-Dieter Maubach, the CEO of Uniper, predicted that the company could lose up to €10 billion this year. According to the source, Uniper is the first significant corporation to succumb to pressure from Moscow on the European energy sector because the company is largely dependent on Russian gas.

The German government has yet to respond, but this week, lawmakers passed a rule that makes it simpler to acquire shares in failing energy businesses, according to Bloomberg.