Uniper SE said Wednesday that the German government would spend 8 billion euros ($7.9 billion) to take a 99% stake in the company and nationalize the country’s largest utility. 

The German government would also acquire all the shares held by Uniper’s largest stakeholder, Finnish energy company Fortum Oyj. The deal amends a bailout announced in July for Germany to take a 30% stake in Uniper. 

“Today’s agreement provides clarity on the ownership structure, allows us to continue our business and to fulfill our role as a system-critical energy supplier,” said Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach. “This secures the energy supply for companies, municipal utilities, and consumers. The amendment of the stabilization package announced in July was necessary against the backdrop of the further intensification of the energy crisis.”

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Uniper exhausted capital as it purchased costly natural gas to fill the void left by diminishing Russian imports. European natural gas prices have topped $100/MMBtu, while power prices have surged past 1,000 euros/MWh this year amid gas shortages and rampant supply fears since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. 

Germany’s state-owned bank KfW would provide financing to Uniper according to its liquidity needs moving forward. The company said it would hold a meeting in the fourth quarter to obtain shareholder approval for the nationalization.

The company has become a major casualty of Europe’s relentless energy crisis. Energy providers across Europe have fallen and debt levels have ballooned as prices have soared amid war and inflation. 

Governments have swung into action, announcing plans to provide liquidity, curb energy consumption and cap household energy bills, among a long list of market intervention measures. 

The crisis has destroyed demand and curbed output across Europe’s economy. The German government has spent billions of euros to keep companies afloat and supplies flowing to the continent’s largest energy consuming nation. 

Nationalizing Uniper shows how severe the energy crisis has become in Europe, said finance professor Craig Pirrong, director of the Global Energy Management Institute at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. 

“In the case of Uniper, the German government is absorbing some of the cost, which of course involves passing it on to taxpayers in one way or the other,” Pirrong told NGI.

While Germany continues to review a gas surcharge for consumers to help cover soaring costs, he added that nationalization is one way governments can shift the burden of higher energy prices. Pirrong noted that the UK has effectively nationalized several retail energy suppliers and France has nationalized Électricité de France SA this year.

Germany has also seized control of Gazprom Germania, which trades gas globally, and Russian firm Rosneft PJSC’s Germain oil refinery. It is also reportedly working on rescue packages for Gazprom Germania and VNG AG, a subsidiary of utility EnBW AG that imports gas.