EDF ready to buy British Energy for £12bn

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The Independent Online

EDF is hoping to seal a £12bn takeover of British Energy next week, despite having a similar bid rejected by the UK nuclear generator last month as too low. While the board of the French state-controlled energy group did not take a decision on a fresh bid when it met yesterday, sources close to the company believe the falling oil price makes its 765p-a-share cash offer look more attractive to investors such as Invesco and M&G, who opposed EDF's earlier offer.

They also believe investors could be won over by an improvement to the terms of the alternative to a pure cash offer, which would allow them to benefit from any future gains through contingent value rights instruments. The British Government, which controls 35 per cent of British Energy, backed the EDF all-cash offer. British Energy has attracted takeover interest since the Government agreed to the construction of new nuclear power stations, which are likely to be built on British Energy land. EDF is the world's biggest single producer of nuclear energy.