Former Gazprom subsidiary: federal government nationalizes gas importer Sefe

The federal government sees the gas company Sefe as a "key company" for the German energy supply.

Former Gazprom subsidiary: federal government nationalizes gas importer Sefe

The federal government sees the gas company Sefe as a "key company" for the German energy supply. In the spring, he therefore invested billions in stabilizing the group. In order to avert an imminent insolvency, the former Gazprom Germania is now being completely taken over.

The federal government is nationalizing the ailing gas company Securing Energy for Europe (Sefe), a former subsidiary of the Russian state-owned Gazprom. The Ministry of Economics justified corresponding capital measures in a notification with an impending insolvency of Sefe, which would endanger the security of supply in Germany. "In order to avert this danger and to maintain Sefe's operational business, the change of ownership is now being carried out and the company stabilized," it said. The corresponding order was published in the Federal Gazette. The legal basis for the measure is Section 17a of the Energy Security Act.

The former Gazprom Germania GmbH is a "key company for energy supply in Germany," emphasized the ministry. It has been under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency since April. According to the ministry, this was preceded by an "opaque sale" of the company to another Russian company and their attempt to liquidate the company. "The ownership structure is still unclear," it said.

Since the spring, Sefe has been in serious financial difficulties as a result of Russia's actions, in particular Russian sanctions against the company and almost all its subsidiaries. To make matters worse, business partners and banks are ending their business relationships with Sefe or not wanting to start new ones due to the unclear ownership structure.

With the capital cut ordered by the federal government, the previous shareholder of the company will lose his position as a shareholder. The capital cut is associated with compensation based on the market value of the Sefe shares. "The compensation process has not yet been completed," the ministry said.

At the same time, the federal government is carrying out a capital increase. A holding company was founded for this purpose, which is solely owned by the federal government. It gradually brings in fresh share capital, totaling 225.6 million euros. "The change of ownership is complete." The EU Commission had already approved the provision of the new share capital on Saturday under state aid law.

The federal government had already stabilized the company in the spring with a loan from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) totaling 11.8 billion euros. The ministry announced that the KfW loan will now be increased to EUR 13.8 billion to compensate for the loss of the originally planned gas surcharge. According to the ministry, the measures will be financed from the around 200 billion euros "defense shield" of the Economic Stabilization Fund.

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