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EDF makes £12.5bn bid for British Energy

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French utility EDF has launched a £12.5bn agreed bid for nuclear operator British Energy, in a revamped offer to take control of Britain's nuclear power industry.

EDF will pay 774 pence a share for the country's biggest electricity producer, according to a statement today, 35% above British Energy's closing price on March 14, the last trading session before the Scotland-based utility said it may receive an offer. EDF has also proposed an alternative offer of 700 pence a share plus "one nuclear power note". The note changes in value with wholesale energy prices and power output levels from British Energy's existing nuclear stations. Centrica Plc, the UK's dominant energy supplier, is in talks to take a 25% stake in the acquired company.

The British government, which owns 35%  of British Energy, accepted an earlier proposed offer from EDF but investors Invesco and M&G, which own around 22% of the company, rejected it as too low.

The deal ends months of wrangling over British Energy's future and gives Paris-based EDF control of eight British nuclear plant sites where it will build four reactors.

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