British Energy shares rise on rumoured EDF bid

11-04-2008

British Energy shares rise on rumoured EDF bid
Shares in British Energy rose on reports French energy group EDF is readying a bid for the whole company.

British Energy shares rose slightly to 740p by 14:00 BST. Market rumours the company, which owns eight nuclear power stations and a coal-fired power station, is at the centre of a bidding war has pushed up its share value.

The Times quoted an unnamed source as saying the process was "well advanced", with detailed due diligence under way and a sale could be wrapped up by July.

The newspaper said the offer would be more than 700p per share. The deadline for formal bids is due to fall within weeks, according to the source.

The Financial Times revealed yesterday that rival German power company RWE has submitted an all-cash offer of nearly 700p, while Iberdrola of Spain and Germany's E.ON are also reportedly interested.

British Gas owner Centrica has also reportedly launched an all-share bid, which would effectively be a merger.

The British government owns a 35.2-percent stake in British Energy.

According to reports, the government is prepared to sell to a foreign-owned company but will not sell its stake if it creates a single, monopoly player.

The company may be broken up if the government is not satisfied that a sale to one company can be achieved.

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