Hong Kong firms complete deal for British power firm

1st November 2010, Comments 0 comments

A consortium led by Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing said Monday that it has completed a 9.28 billion-dollar takeover of the British power distribution network of French electricity giant EDF.

The acquisition of EDF Energy was completed on October 29 and is the largest deal by a Hong Kong entity in Britain, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) and Hongkong Electric Holdings said in a joint statement posted to Hong Kong's stock exchange.

The deal, which is worth about 5.78 billion pounds (9.28 billion US dollars) "will bring a substantial positive impact on the future profits of the company", the companies said, referring to their joint venture.

EDF Energy is the largest electricity supplier in Britain and has electricity distribution networks in London, and throughout the southeast and east of the country.

The state-owned EDF group, Europe's biggest electricity producer, had previously said it was putting its three distribution grids in Britain up for sale to reduce its debt.

The Hong Kong consortium reportedly beat rival bids from Scottish & Southern Energy and a consortium comprising the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Macquarie Capital and Canada Pension Plan, Dow Jones Newswires said previously.

The multi-billion dollar deal is Li's fifth purchase in Britain, and comes as he tries to increase ownership of overseas utilities to broaden his earnings base owing to difficulties expanding in Hong Kong.

The tycoon also has utility interests in New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

© 2010 AFP

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