EdF, RWE, Iberdrola set to bid for British Energy - source

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France’s EdF, Germany’s RWE and Spain’s Iberdrola are expected to be among companies that will submit offers for British Energy (BE) by a deadline on Friday, a source close to the matter said.

Another source said on Sunday these would be formal offers with details of financing, but were not necessarily final bids. A person familiar with the situation told Reuters last month that RWE, Europe’s third-biggest utility and the owner of British energy supplier nPower, had made an indicative all-cash proposal of just under 700 pence a share for British Energy, valuing it at up to £11 billion ($21.8 billion).

Another source close to the matter said that Electricite de France (EdF) would bid substantially below 700 pence a share, hoping its expertise in nuclear power would persuade the British government to prefer its proposal. Utilities across Europe are stalking British Energy, which is the UK’s only private nuclear power generator and is 35% owned by the British government, to take advantage of the country’s new drive towards nuclear power.

Centrica, which owns British Gas, is trying to pair up with one of the bidders, sources close to the matter have said. British Energy, EdF, RWE and Centrica declined to comment. A spokesman for Iberdrola, which owns Scottish Power, said: „We are studying this but still have not taken a decision. We will decide over the coming week.” (Reuters)

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