Possible state takeover of Uniper: What shareholders should know

Whe bought shares in the energy company last winter Uniper bought has had a difficult few months. From the share price of a good 40 euros back then, there are only 4 euros left today. The company's high dependence on Russian gas has made the Eon spin-off a sleazy child on the German stock exchange - and one of the biggest price losers as a result of the war of aggression in Ukraine.

Now the state is apparently planning to significantly increase its stake of 30 percent, which it initiated in July. Talks for a majority stake have been confirmed. The company would effectively be nationalized. What does that mean for the remaining shareholders?

The verdict of stock exchange was clear: When the considerations became known on Wednesday, the share price plummeted again by 17 percent. In early trading on Thursday, the stock briefly rose more than 7 percent. But as the day progressed, the price then fell back to the 4 euros of the previous day. For most market participants it seems clear: For the foreseeable future, the risks in the share far outweigh the opportunities. A further capital increase would immediately further dilute the share price, because any profits would in any case be distributed over more shares.

What does nationalization bring?

And if the state proceeds with the new capital increase again as it did last time Lufthansa and only buys the shares at par, then Uniper would not put any significant new money into the coffers. The ratio would probably be that the federal government, as the main shareholder, would significantly improve Uniper's ratings - and in the business with futures contracts, the counterparty's confidence in the future viability of a company is the be-all and end-all.

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