The giant French power company EDF has abandoned plans for a 15 billion euro deal to buy the UK nuclear power generator British Energy. That is a major blow to Britain’s plans to build a string of new nuclear power stations.
Reportedly the deal fell apart at the last minute when leading private shareholders in British Energy said EDF’s cash offer was too low, however talks are said to be continuing.
EDF chief executive Pierre Gadonneix confirmed the company’s ambition to be what he called a major player in Britain’s nuclear rebirth, but added: “After thorough discussions, and after hearing what was required by all the parties, we came to the conclusion that the conditions, notably financial ones, allowing a major development of EDF in Britain are not currently there.”
EDF, which is the world’s biggest single producer of nuclear power, was seen as offering the financing and technology know-how that British Energy needs. If a deal with EDF cannot be resurrected, British Energy has said it will seek partnerships with other nuclear companies.