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Much more state money for Uniper

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Status: 07/20/2022 3:28 p.m.

The federal government will likely give a lot more money to struggling energy company Uniper so it can keep buying gas. According to insiders, the rescue is also coming to an end.

The measures to save the energy company in difficulty Uniper are materializing. Existing loans from the public bank KfW are to be increased by two to eight billion euros, according to a document from the Bundestag’s Climate Protection and Energy Committee. This is necessary to provide short-term liquidity for replacement gas purchases and to secure so-called margin positions. Margins are reserves that suppliers must deposit for trading on energy exchanges. Uniper announced on Monday that the existing credit line of 2 billion euros was completely exhausted and therefore filed a request for an increase.

According to the newspaper, the federal government is also considering taking a stake of up to 30%. This objective is to be achieved through a combination of a capital increase and new hybrid shares. The aim is to cover the accumulated losses of the Düsseldorf group.

Reuters had previously reported that Uniper was unlikely to lose its good credit rating, which would make it more expensive to raise new funds in the capital market. Besides the federal government, Uniper’s majority shareholder, Fortum, and the Finnish state, which owns 51% of Fortum, are also involved in the talks.

The federal government could give more than five billion euros

According to a Bloomberg report, Germany plans to invest more than €5 billion in Uniper, with the total commitment expected to be less than €10 billion. Deliberations are also said to be ongoing and terms could still change. Details are to be decided at a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Friday.

FDP energy politician Michael Kruse told the dpa news agency: “For a possible state entry into gas suppliers, it must be ensured that losses are not left exclusively to the taxpayer.” According to insiders, the deal must be finalized by July 25. Because at that time, Uniper was threatened with even bigger liquidity bottlenecks than before.

Uniper is suffering from gas supplies from Russia, which were initially throttled and are now completely absent. To meet its obligations to its customers, the group must buy natural gas at high market prices.

Costs can be passed on to customers

There is also talk, according to insiders, that Uniper may pass on some of its increased costs to customers. According to Reuters, this is being discussed as part of the Düsseldorf group’s rescue plan.

Among other things, Uniper supplies many municipal utilities with natural gas. The rise in gas prices should therefore soon affect many end consumers.

Uniper stock rallies strongly

In view of the reports, Uniper shares rose 21% to 12.63 euros. Yesterday, the newspaper had already benefited greatly from speculation about an imminent resumption of gas supplies from Russia.

Uniper action takes off – government aid in perspective

Nicholas Buschschlueter, HR, 20.7.2022 11:53 a.m.

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Source www.tagesschau.de

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