Put up or shut up, Iberdrola tell France's EDF
Spanish power company wants EDF to make an offer or shut up as the rumours in the market are affecting the company.16 April 2008
BILBAO - French power giant EDF should either make the bid for Iberdrola it is reported to be preparing or else "shut up," the chairman of the Spanish utility said Tuesday.
"What we say is: make an offer or shut up!" said Sanchez Galan when asked by reporters about recent legal action taken by Iberdrola to get EDF to divulge its intentions for the firm.
"We are standing before unfair competition because these rumours could affect our activities, our clients," he said at a news conference in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao.
Last month a Spanish court ordered EDF to clarify its plans for Iberdrola after the French state-controlled firm said it had spoken to key Iberdrola shareholder ACS about a possible joint bid for the Bilbao-based power company.
EDF has contested the court ruling, which would require that it publish a statement regarding its plans in five newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
Iberdrola has also filed several complaints with the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, over France's support for power giant EDF in its reported bid to win control of the company.
The French government holds 85 percent of EDF.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that EDF and Spanish builder ACS were planning to join forces to take over Iberdrola and Spanish power company Union Fenosa in massive deals worth EUR 63.4 billion.
The bid speculation surrounding Iberdrola has led a New York court to hold up the Spanish firm's acquisition of US group Energy East.
Iberdrola, the world's largest owner of wind-energy parks, has said it hopes to close the 6.4-billion euro deal by the end of the first half but on Tuesday Galan said he expected it would be completed by "the summer".
If the New York court drags its feet or imposes tough conditions on Iberdrola, Galan said "then we would reconsider our decision," adding the firm would look for other growth opportunities in the United States.
[AFP / Expatica]