Nov. 21, 2000 (Financial Times)—British Energy, the electricity generator, may list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange next year, underlining the growing importance of Canada in its international expansion strategy.

The decision to consider a Canadian listing follows the company’s agreement in July to lease and operate the two Bruce nuclear power plants in southwestern Ontario, in a deal made possible by the province’s moves to deregulate its electricity market. The deal comprises British Energy’s biggest single investment in North America.

“With Bruce being such a major part of the portfolio, we are sort of a Canadian company,” said Robin Jeffrey, executive director for North American operations and British Energy’s chairman-designate.

A decision on the listing will be made in the spring.

“Bruce is very important to British Energy. The identification with Canada and Ontario is very strong in our minds,” he added.

Under the deal, British Energy is paying government-controlled Ontario Power Generation C$625m ($400m) upfront for an 18-year lease on the Bruce plants, plus C$100m-C$150m a year in rent, depending on their profitability. The total value of the deal is about C$3.2bn.

British Energy has an option to renew the lease for a further 25 years. Regulatory clearance of the deal is expected to involve public hearings in February and April, leading to final closure in late spring or early summer, said Mr Jeffrey.

The Bruce complex comprises eight reactors, only four of which are working. Studies on restarting two of them are expected to be completed in the spring.

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