The federal government in Berlin has secretly created a holding company to nationalize the former German subsidiary of Gazprom in the near future, Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday.
Gazprom Germania had previously been renamed Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE), and has been managed by the Federal Grid Agency.
- Meanwhile, the new holding company has been given a similar name to SEFE – Securing Energy for Europe Holding GmbH (SEEHG).
Two lawyers from CMS Hasche Sigle law firm have been appointed as managing directors of the new holding company.
Gazprom Germania, a subsidiary of Russian gas major Gazprom, used to operate some of the country’s largest natural gas storage facilities. The company was seized as part of the Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia.
- In June, Bloomberg reported that the German government was planning to allocate up to €10 billion ($10.4 billion) to rescue Gazprom Germania, which was seized by the country’s energy regulator in April.
Back then, the regulator said it would administer the company in the interests of Germany and Europe.
In response to the seizure, Gazprom stopped supplying gas to the company, which had amounted to some 10 billion cubic meters per day, and on May 11, Gazprom Germania was the subject of sanctions by Russia.
The company was subsequently shunned by trading partners and faced liquidity problems, risking the collapse of key gas retailers in Germany and the UK.
Germany’s Economy Ministry said it was aware of the holding company and that its establishment was a precautionary step for any restructuring measures.
- “It is a purely precautionary institution that currently only exists as a corporate law shell,” a spokesperson for the ministry told Welt am Sonntag.