GDF bid to buy rest of UK group rejected

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The Independent Online

GDF Suez's attempt to scoop up the 30 per cent of International Power it does not already own stopped in its tracks today as the UK electricity group batted away its French suitor.

After six days of deliberation, International Power's independent board committee unanimously rejected GDF's 390p-a-share indicative offer – which prices the outstanding stake at £6.2bn – on the grounds it undervalues the company.

The six-strong committee of independent directors, led by Sir Neville Simms and advised by Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Nomura, is thought to be holding out for a rise of 15p a share to 405p, valuing the remaining take at £6.4bn.

The bidder immediately threatened to walk away from its approach to take full control of the company. But it also kept open the option of making a higher bid.

GDF took control of International Power in February last year, creating the world's largest power utility in a deal that saw the French group injecting its non-European assets into its UK target and taking 70 per cent of the resulting entity.