Brussels, 14 November 2022
The European Commission has approved a €225.6 million German aid measure to support SEFE Securing Energy for Europe GmbH (‘SEFE GmbH’), previously Gazprom Germania GmbH, currently placed under the trusteeship of Germany. The measure will allow the German State to take the 100% ownership of SEFE GmbH replacing Gazprom Export LCC, in order to safeguard the security of gas supply to the German economy.
Under the planned measure, the existing registered capital of €225.6 million will be set to zero, which will de facto end the ownership of the present Russian shareholder. SEFE GmbH will then issue new ordinary shares to the same nominal amount. The present measure will therefore not change the equity of SEFE GmbH. The new shares will be subscribed by Germany.
The Commission found that the German measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU. In its assessment, the Commission has also followed the principles set out in the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework and in the 2014 Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said:
“Gazprom’s disruption of gas deliveries is showing Russia’s unreliability as a supplier. Many importers of Russian natural gas, with fixed delivery contracts concluded with customers before the crisis, are currently not being served. Any disorderly failure to fulfil these fixed contracts can have severe consequences for customers and for the German economy. So, we welcome the change of ownership of SEFE, which will enable Germany to search for new gas suppliers while ensuring security of supply”.
A press release is available online.
Source – EU Commission