EDF agrees £12.5bn British Energy deal

FRENCH state-owned energy giant EDF today finally agreed a £12.5billion takeover of Sizewell B owner British Energy. The deal, announced in Paris, puts the UK's Government's plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain back on track, following the last minute failure of talks between British Energy (BE) and EDF at the start of last month.

FRENCH state-owned energy giant EDF today finally agreed a £12.5billion takeover of Sizewell B owner British Energy.

The deal, announced in Paris earlier, today, puts the UK's Government's plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain back on track, following the last minute failure of talks between British Energy (BE) and EDF at the start of last month.

Under the new deal, EDF will pay 774p a share for BE - 9p more than the price offered in July which was rejected at the last minute as too low by two of the UK company's biggest shareholders.

Centrica, parent company of British Gas, was also confirmed today to be in talks to take a 25% stake in BE, giving it access to a proportion of the electricity produced by the nuclear generator.

News of the takeover was welcomed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown as “good value for the taxpayer and a significant step towards the construction of a new generation of nuclear stations”.

The deal will also bring a much needed cash windfall for the Government, which holds a 36% stake in BE and supported the previous deal.

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