28 November 2002 – British Energy has won an extension of the emergency government loan until April 2003, and has unveiled a restructuring plan that gives the control of over 65 per cent of its income to the government.

The government has said the deal in which it underwrites the multi-billion pound nuclear clean-up liabilities will cost the taxpayer between £150 and £200m a year for the next ten years.

A statement from the DTI said, “The government’s overriding priorities have always been to ensure nuclear safety and security of electricity supplies. This restructuring package is a pragmatic approach that should ensure that
these aims are met.”

British Energy said it would issue £700m worth of new bonds and new shares in exchange for existing bonds, a move that it said would “very significantly” dilute the holdings of its existing shareholders.

British Energy’s share prices plunged again on the announcement, down to 9.5p having risen to 16.88p Wednesday.