EDF threatens Edison sale over voting rights

15th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 14 (AFP) - Electricite de France chairman Pierre Gadonneix said Tuesday the company may sell its 2.34 percent stake in Edison if the Italian government does not scrap the rule limiting EDF's voting rights in the power company to two percent.

PARIS, Dec 14 (AFP) - Electricite de France chairman Pierre Gadonneix said Tuesday the company may sell its 2.34 percent stake in Edison if the Italian government does not scrap the rule limiting EDF's voting rights in the power company to two percent.

"I do not rule out any solution, including a disposal. Our stake is attractive and our friends at (German utility) E.ON have indicated their interest," he said in an interview with French daily Les Echos to be published Wednesday.

State-owned utility EDF holds a direct 2.34 percent stake in Edison and has 18.03 percent of Edison's parent company Italenergia, which in turn holds 63.8 percent of Edison.

Through a series of put and call options, EDF can take control next year of Italenergia.

The Italian government earlier said the two percent limit placed on EDF's voting rights in Edison would not be lifted before February.

Gadonneix also said he would be ready for the French government to sell its stake in EDF from September 2005.

"We need nine months to be ready, that means from September 2005," he said.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin last week confirmed the government would sell shares in state-owned utilities EDF and Gaz de France in 2005.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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