Germany could take more than 30% stake in Uniper - Handelsblatt

General view of Uniper's Bierwang gas storage facility near the Bavarian town of Kraiburg am Inn, Germany, June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

BERLIN, July 7 (Reuters) - Germany could take a stake of more than 30% in Uniper (UN01.DE) over concerns about its credit rating, business daily Handelsblatt reported on Thursday, citing several people familiar with the matter.

Handelsblatt had reported on Tuesday that Berlin was in discussions to subscribe to a package of new shares of up to 25% in the German energy company, and was also discussing a possible silent partnership, or equity instrument without voting rights.

The sources said there are concerns that supporting the company with only a silent partnership and a blocking minority might not be sufficient to maintain Uniper's investment grade credit rating, according to Handelsblatt.

Germany's economy ministry declined to confirm or deny the report.

A spokesperson for the economy ministry said: "We are in close contact with everyone involved and are working flat out on a solution. I can't give any more details yet."

Uniper was not immediately available for comment.

Uniper shares were up at 8% at 1516 GMT following the report.

Last month, Uniper became the first German energy company to raise the alarm over scarce gas and soaring prices, saying it was in talks about a possible government bailout.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government has agreed to legislation allowing Berlin to take stakes in energy firms that run into financial trouble. read more

Reporting by Holger Hansen, Hans Seidenstuecker Writing by Miranda Murray and Riham Alkousaa, editing by Thomas Escritt, Bill Berkrot and Jane Merriman

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