Avoiding a German Lehman Brothers
On the state's bailout of Uniper
The German government has jumped in to save the energy giant Uniper, buying it from Finnish company Fortum. The sale price of half a billion euros marks a massive loss for Fortum, which paid €8 billion when it bought a majority stake in the company five years ago.
But it would be a stretch to call it a bargain. Uniper is taking on water at an alarming rate: the German government will have to pour tens of billions of euros into covering its losses for this year alone.
Ever since Gazprom decided to slash its gas deliveries to Germany back in June, Uniper has been in big trouble. It previously bought half of its gas from Gazprom - an amount that accounted for a quarter of all German gas usage.
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