Germany has begun to nationalize gas importer Uniper in the wake of an energy crisis that has left the government of Europe's top economy with few other options to keep its industry going.
Germany is set to buy Fortum's (FORTUM.HE) 78% stake in Uniper and inject a further 8 billion euros ($8 billion US) into the energy group that is expected to give Berlin a stake of more than 90%.
Düsseldorf-based Uniper, Germany's largest importer of Russian gas, burned through its cash reserves sourcing gas on the spot market after Russia cut flows to Germany, triggering a rescue package with Berlin which was agreed upon in July.
One of the first corporate victims of Russia’s economic war on Europe, Uniper used to import over half of the gas it resells from Russia, making it more dependent on Moscow’s supplies than many of its peers with a more diversified supplier base. Uniper reported a net loss of more than $12.6 billion for the first half of the year.
Verbundnetzgas, Germany's third largest gas importer, is also a candidate for nationalization. Meanwhile the German government is discussing bringing back online several nuclear energy plants and even coal-fired plants to meet the huge draws on power by the complex mosaic of German industry.