Uniper's rocky road to German nationalisation

EU Commission demands Uniper dispose of Dutch business - Handelsblatt
EU Commission demands Uniper dispose of Dutch business - Handelsblatt Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
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- German utility Uniper's finances are worsening, as borne out by an adjusted net loss of 3.2 billion euros ($3.18 billion) announced this week with more detail expected on Nov. 3, when the nine-month full report is due.

The Berlin government in late September said it would nationalise the gas importer, which has been stricken by the impact of its long-term Russian partner Gazprom withholding exports following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Uniper has to buy costly replacements from the spot market to fulfil supply contracts with smaller utilities and industry.

Below is a chronology of the crisis so far:


Uniper, which in September received pledges of over 29 billion euros, may need tens of billions of euros more to survive the European gas crisis and keep up purchases, sources said.

Additional money is expected from a 200 billion euro government support programme for energy hardship, which is in its final approval stages and will also support peers Sefe and EnBW's VNG.

It replaces a gas levy that would have charged consumers for the support. This was scrapped in September and will be replaced by a variety of measures to help consumers.


Under a nationalisation plan, Germany said it will hold 99% of Uniper once it completes a capital increase and buys the holding of its Finnish parent company Fortum.

The reasons cited are that the move will prevent gas rationing, chaos in the market and job losses at Uniper.

Uniper is said to be considering proceedings against Gazprom over the gas supply cuts in a Swedish court.


Uniper reports a 12.3 billion euro loss in the first half and withdraws the 2022 outlook.


The German government agrees to a 15 billion euro rescue deal and to more than quadruple a credit line with state-lender KfW.


Uniper withdraws 2022 outlook and calls for a bailout.


Uniper implements Moscow's demand to pay for gas in roubles.


Uniper posts impairments related to its Russian generation unit.


Uniper signals exit from Russia.


Uniper proposes a 95% cut in its 2021 dividend.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline link in which it was a co-financier, is abandoned, leaving Uniper with a 1 billion euro write-down.

Russia on Feb. 24 invades Ukraine, calling it a "special military operation".


Uniper secures credit facilities worth 10 billion euros from Fortum and German state bank KfW plus 1.8 billion euros in bank loans to address high prices and volatility.


Global gas markets become tight in a post-COVID recovery and Russia starts sending lower exports westwards, pointing to the imminent start of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Uniper holds on to the belief that Russia is a reliable shipper.


Uniper represents the legacy business of Ruhrgas that E.ON took over in 2003 and fully absorbed in 2013.

The purchase, which cemented joint German-Russian trade and oil and gas exploration links, was opposed by the cartel office and by some as pandering to pro-Moscow interests.

E.ON spun off a majority of Uniper in 2016 and later agreed to sell its remaining stake to Fortum.

($1 = 1.0052 euros)

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