EDF formally buys British Energy

Jan. 8, 2009 at 12:02 PM

LONDON, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- France's EDF has formally purchased British Energy for $19 billion.

After more than a year of speculation about bids and then negotiations, Electricite de France has formally taken over British Energy, the largest electricity generator and nuclear operator in Britain, Xinhua reported.

EDF reportedly has plans to build four new nuclear reactors in Britain, in line with the reason for the sale of British Energy, to boost the country's nuclear power sector.

"Completion of this takeover represents not only a 12.5 billion pound ($19 billion) investment in the U.K. by EDF but, in opening the way for new nuclear build, should provide many billions of pounds more opportunity for the U.K. supply chain," said British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson.

Included in the sale was the 36-percent stake that previously was held by the British government. The sale brought in about $6.7 billion that the government will use to decommission British Energy's eight existing nuclear power stations.

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