EU Commission approves Uniper stabilisation measures

3 January 2023

Following Uniper’s extraordinary general meeting on 19 December to authorise a framework agreement over proposals for stabilisation and to create a viable way forward for the company, the EU Commission has granted approval of the following measures under its state aid law. The stabilisation measures will be implemented immediately.

Broadly, the remedies approved include the divestment various interests including the company’s stake in Unipro, as well as individual company shareholdings and individual conventional generation assets: and there is a number of structural remedies that Uniper must fulfil. The following divestments of assets must be completed at the latest by the end of 2026:

  • Its 84% stake in the Unipro business, in Russia; 
  • Hard-coal-fired power plant in Datteln, Germany;
  • Its district heating business in Germany;
  • The North America power business, excluding the gas portfolio, LNG and hydrogen-related capabilities;
  • The marine fuels business Uniper Energy DMCC, Middle East,:
  • The gas-fired power plant in Gönyu, Hungary;
  • Its 20% stake in the OPAL pipeline;
  • Its 20% indirect stake in the BBL pipeline;
  • The 18% stake in the gas company Latvijas Gaze, Latvia; and
  • Its international helium business.

Uniper has also committed itself to a number of market-opening remedies, such as the obligation not to expand its market position in sales, to adjust its long-term gas contract portfolio, and to grant competitors access to transport and storage capacities.

Until the end of 2026, Uniper may also only make acquisitions that are necessary to ensure the continued viability of the company or to drive the decarbonisation of Uniper's business. Acquisitions would be subject to approval by the EU Commission.

In addition to all the above, the arbitration claim against the Netherlands, which is based on the Energy Charter Treaty, must be withdrawn.

EU approval is founded on the logic that Uniper will make a contribution of 30% per year from its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, excluding losses from gas replacement costs, between 2022 and 2024. If, at the end of 2024, Uniper's equity capitalisation is higher than before the crisis, it will be obliged to repay the excess amount to the German Federal government by appropriate means.

As part of the EU approval, the German Federal Government agreed to reduce its shareholding to a maximum of 25% plus one share by 2028 at the latest.

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