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Venezuela nationalizes its largest electricity company

The Venezuelan government has acquired the nation's largest private electricity company for $836.9 million, a further move toward the nationalization of the South American country's strategic industries.

In a statement released on Thursday, the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) said that it had bought 93% of the shares in Electricidad de Caracas (EDC), including an 82% stake from AES Corp., a Virginia-based US company. In January 2007, the Venezuelan government announced its plan to nationalize the oil, telecommunications and electric sectors. On Wednesday the government acquired the Compania Anonima Telefonos de Venezuela (Cantv), Venezuela's largest telecommunications firm, for $1.3 billion, obtaining a total of 86.2% of its shares. The government has already taken control of the nation's petrol fields, via joint-venture agreements which leave companies from the United States, France, Norway and Britain as minority shareholders. (