EU clears Germany’s planned takeover of gas giant Uniper

The European Commission said on Friday that it had approved the acquisition of struggling gas trader Uniper by the German government.

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The European Commission approved the acquisition of struggling gas trader Uniper SE by the German government, it said on Friday, paving the way for the nationalisation of the firm which nearly collapsed after Russia stopped supplying gas.

The acquisition was approved under the EU merger regulation after the Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns. The Commission also still needs to approve Uniper’s bailout under state aid rules.

“The transaction was prompted by the ongoing European energy crisis, in particular the cessation of Russian gas deliveries and the sharp rise in gas prices, which resulted in Uniper, Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, requiring significant capital injections to prevent its insolvency,” the Commission said.

Merger clearance comes just days before a planned extraordinary shareholder meeting on Dec. 19 at which Uniper’s investors are to approve of the bailout, which has so far cost more than 51 billion euros ($54 billion).

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