EDF to buy 51 pct of Belgium's SPE from Centrica
EDF will become the second-largest generator in Belgium.
EDF and Centrica will create a joint venture company, 80 percent controlled by the French group and 20 percent by Centrica, to build four European Pressurised Reactor-type nuclear power stations in Britain.
British Energy runs six nuclear plants in England and two in Scotland, which are due to be de-commissioned.
Centrica will spend 2.3 billion pounds (2.56 billion euros, 3.49 billion dollars) to buy a 20 percent stake in the nuclear operator British Energy, which EDF acquired control of in January 2009.
EDF will buy 51 percent of the Belgian electricity company SPE from Centrica for 1.3 billion euros (1.8 billion dollars).
The 49 percent of the company not owned by Centrica belongs to Belgian municipalities and banks. SPE is Belgium's second-biggest electricity company with around 1.6 million customers and a fifth of the market.
EDF has already tried this kind of partnership in China and the United States, said the company's chairman and chief executive Pierre Gadonneix.
"This transaction will also help balance both the generation and supply businesses of EDF Energy.
"The asset swap in this deal will also see the EDF group reinforce its Benelux presence by becoming the second-largest generator in Belgium."
Roger Carr, Chairman of Centrica, said: "The deal represents good value for Centrica shareholders, improves the strategic balance of our business and further underpins our green energy credentials."