Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is to buy 20 percent of the UK nuclear business purchased earlier this year by the state-owned French power group EDF.
The price is 1.2 billion euros in cash plus a 51 percent stake in Centrica’s Belgian power generation and supply business SPE. EDF and Centrica are to form an 80/20 joint venture to build four new nuclear power stations in Britain. The deal means Centrica is protected from volatile wholesale energy prices, while EDF is less likely to face regulatory scrutiny following its takeover of British Energy. EDF’s chief executive Pierre Gadonneix said the group is also in talks with other European utilities about forming further partnerships.