Deadline extended to January: Nord Stream 2 operator avoids bankruptcy

As a gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2 is as good as dead.

Deadline extended to January: Nord Stream 2 operator avoids bankruptcy

As a gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2 is as good as dead. With the Russian attack on Ukraine, commissioning is called off. However, the Gazprom subsidiary still exists as a company. The Swiss-based company faces bankruptcy. A court is now granting Nord Stream 2 a longer period.

The indebted operator of the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 has once again averted impending bankruptcy. The cantonal court at the headquarters of Nord Stream 2 AG in Zug, Switzerland, extended the provisional debt restructuring moratorium until January 10, 2023, as the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce announced. The period granted for the first time in May would have expired on September 10th.

Creditors will not be able to collect money with it until at least January. A trustee appointed by the court, the company Transliq, can now further examine whether a reorganization or an agreement with the creditors has a chance of success. If this is not the case, bankruptcy proceedings must be opened under Swiss law.

The extension of the deadline has no specific impact on the company's operations: "We continue to work just as we did before," said Nord Stream 2 AG spokesman Ulrich Lissek. "We work with the trustee, who gets an overview of the company's situation." Nord Stream 2 AG is a subsidiary of the Russian gas group Gazprom. It has its headquarters in Zug, a good 30 kilometers south of Zurich.

According to lawyers, the provisional debt restructuring moratorium is intended to give companies with payment difficulties the opportunity to get out of a bind without insolvency. It is usually granted when assets are available and there is a prospect that creditors will agree to only a partial payment of their claims. An extension of the debt restructuring moratorium means that the company's situation has at least not deteriorated. One of the duties of the administrator is to secure the assets.

The pipeline laid and completed through the Baltic Sea should bring Russian gas to Germany. The federal government had put the approval process on hold in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Shortly before the Russian attack, the USA imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and made all business with the company impossible. The Zug economics authority had already spoken of major payment difficulties as a result of the sanctions and of impending "bankruptcy" at the beginning of March. The 100 or so employees in Zug were laid off at the time.

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