Germany nationalizes gas giant Uniper

STORY: Germany has agreed to nationalise ailing utility Uniper.

It will buy out the stake held by Finnish firm Fortum as part of a move to keep the company going.

The deal comprises a fresh cash injection of almost $8 billion.

After it all goes through, Berlin will hold around 99% of Uniper.

Economy minister Robert Habeck said the move would secure the firm, and energy supply to municipal utilities and consumers.

"When the merger control and the state aid issues have been clarified with the Uniper nationalisation, Germany will of course also exert its influence on Uniper. And then the individual business areas will be looked at very closely and in detail."

Uniper has been in trouble since Russia started limiting gas supplies to Europe.

That has forced it to buy more expensive gas from alternative sources.

It’s already had a $15 billion state bailout package, which soon proved insufficient.

Fortum shares surged over 14% on Wednesday (September 21) following news of the deal.

Finland, which owns over 50% of Fortum, said it would have to live with the new plan.