EDF 'to sell 49 percent of French power grid'

12th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 11 (AFP) - The national French electricity firm EDF is negotiating to sell off a stake of up to 49 percent stake in RTE, the separate company that operates the national distribution grid, to a state-controlled financial institution, the financial weekly La Lettre de l'Expansion said on Sunday.

PARIS, July 11 (AFP) - The national French electricity firm EDF is negotiating to sell off a stake of up to 49 percent stake in RTE, the separate company that operates the national distribution grid, to a state-controlled financial institution, the financial weekly La Lettre de l'Expansion said on Sunday.  

The newsletter said EDF was in talks with the Caisse des Depots, a public financial institution, for the sale of between 30 percent and 49 percent of RTE's capital, which is estimated to be worth EUR 4 billion (USD 4.96 billion) in all.  

The sale would respond to a demand by the European Commission to separate the production and distribution aspects of energy supply in France. At present RTE is wholly owned by EDF.  

The National Assembly recently voted a law turning EDF from a state-owned monopoly to a company with at least 70 percent state participation, allowing for cross-holdings as EDF pursues an aggressive acquisitions policy outside France.  

The newsletter said the sale would allow EDF to reduce its debt by some two million euros.  

EDF's head, Francois Roussely, said Saturday he was seeking at least a 30 percent stake in Italian energy supplier Edison.

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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