EDF deal in principle for Edison takeover: source

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French electricity giant EDF has reached an agreement in principle to take control of the remaining 50 percent of Italy's second biggest power company, Edison, a source close to the deal said Friday.

"There's an agreement in principle that needs to be validated" by both companies' boards of directors, the source told AFP, asking not to be named.

The agreement is in the spirit of a preliminary accord reached in March to buy the company, worth around 4.5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) overall, the source said, without providing further details.

EDF is holding talks in Paris with Edison's main Italian shareholders A2A and Iren with an October 31 deadline to reach an agreement looming, after which the company faces being auctioned off.

Edison has a complex shareholder structure, being 61.3 percent controlled by Transalpina di Energia, which is itself controlled 50-50 by EDF and shareholders' group Delmi.

EDF also directly owns 19.3 percent of Edison's shares.

© 2011 AFP

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