The German Federal Government is the sole owner of the SEFE Group. The Federal Government holds the shares in SEFE Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE) indirectly via the entity SEFE Securing Energy for Europe Holding (SEEHG). Through its subsidiaries, in turn, SEFE is active in the German and European energy markets along the value chain.
In November 2022, the Federal Government acquired the shares in SEFE, representing a key player for the German and European energy space, in order to ensure security of supply in Germany and Europe. This step became necessary as Russia had imposed targeted sanctions against SEFE and suspended all gas deliveries. Due to the sharp increase in gas prices during the course of 2022, the company had to bear high costs for to replace gas quantities in order to meet its existing delivery obligations. The acquisition of shares has stabilized SEFE's operations in a comprehensive manner, particularly in light of the currently tense market situation.
In December 2022, the EU Commission subsequently approved the change in ownership towards the Federal Government in a merger control procedure. At the same time, the EU Commission agreed to further capital measures by the German government that enable SEFE to operate as an integrated midstream company and continue to ensure security of supply for Germany and Europe. This decision ended the trusteeship of the Bundesnetzagentur, which was established in April 2022. As a result, banks and business partners were able to resume and further develop their cooperation with SEFE. The measures confirm the reorientation of the company and are an essential step for the future of SEFE.
In order to secure the company's liquidity, the Federal Government had already taken stabilization measures in favor of SEFE in spring 2022 by gradually granting the company a KfW loan totaling 11.8 billion EUR that was later increased to EUR 13.8 billion EUR. The EU Commission approved a capital injection of 6.3 billion EUR, which will partially convert the KfW loan into equity. This debt-to-equity swap covers SEFE's replacement costs and secures sufficient equity to manage the business as planned.