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Germany's Uniper nationalisation deal expected on Wednesday - source

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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The logo of German energy utility company Uniper SE is pictured in the company's headquarters in Duesseldorf

BERLIN (Reuters) -The German government is expected to announce an agreement on nationalising ailing gas importer Uniper on Wednesday, a source familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Bloomberg reported earlier on Tuesday that the German government aimed to make an announcement regarding the agreement this week although contracts had not yet been signed.

Fortum, Uniper's Finnish parent company, declined to comment but said earlier on Tuesday the talks were ongoing. Germany's economy ministry said no deal had been reached yet.

"When these (talks) are completed, we will let you know," a spokesperson for the ministry said.

Shares in Uniper, which dropped after the Bloomberg report, were down by 6.8% at 1255 GMT.

Uniper, Germany's largest Russian gas importer, said last week that the government could take a controlling stake in the company as it seeks further aid, paving the way for what could result in a full nationalisation of the firm.

Two sources familiar with the matter on Tuesday said it was becoming clear to Berlin that the unstable situation of the country's biggest gas importers called for the state's power, guarantees and financial backing.

The Uniper nationalisation deal is expected to cost the government more than 30 billion euros ($29.9 billion), Business Insider reported.

The company has burned through its cash reserves sourcing gas on the expensive spot market after Moscow slashed flows to Germany, triggering a rescue package with Berlin agreed in July.

($1 = 1.0029 euros)

(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff, Christoph Steitz, Riham Alkousaa and Markus Wacket; Writing by Miranda Murray, Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Rachel More, Sabine Wollrab and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)