The European Commission has approved the nationalization of Gazprom's subsidiaries. This was reported on the website of the European Commission. It was also decided to allocate €225.6 million to Germany for these purposes. This measure will allow the German state to obtain 100% of the shares of SEFE GmbH, replacing Gazprom Export LLC, the Russian company with a controlling stake.
“We welcome the change in ownership of SEFE, which will allow Germany to look for new gas suppliers while ensuring the security of supply,” said European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager.
SEFE GmbH, a system energy company in Germany, formerly Gazprom Germania GmbH, owns a 14% share of the gas supply market in Germany and also operates in other EU member states. In addition, it owns and operates 28% of gas storage facilities serving the German market and owns gas pipelines in Germany and other member countries.
"The Commission has found that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disruption to the State's economy," SEFE said in a statement.
Energy companies based in Germany faced a lack of liquidity and financial losses after Russia's Gazprom cut off gas supplies due to the war in Ukraine. On March 30, searches were carried out at the offices of Gazprom's subsidiaries, which provide gas to about 20% of the German market. Investigative actions were carried out at Gazprom Germania, which owns 25% of German gas storage facilities, and at Wingas. With the latter, customers refused to enter into new contracts, and banks refused to transfer money.
In September, the German government said it was considering bailing out SEFE. Berlin has moved to nationalize other energy giants, including Uniper and a local Rosneft subsidiary, and is reportedly in talks with VNG.