EDF planning asset sale according to French news report

Les Echos newspaper in France has reported that state utility EDF is considering selling assets worth $6.45bn later this year.

The paper, without naming its sources, said stakes will be sold in its eight British nuclear plants to fund plans to build two European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) in Hinkley Point.

“The company has written over 6 billion euros of divestitures in its 2016 budget,” Les Echos said. So far EDF has made no comment on the article.

The company, led by Jean-Bernard Levy, needs 55 billion euros to upgrade its ageing nuclear plants, plans to invest $26.37bn in Hinkley Point and spend several billion euros to buy Areva’s reactor unit.

The article states that the company are prepared to sell up to a 29 per cent stake in EDF Energy, whose nuclear assets have a book value of nearly 9 billion euros. This would leave EDF with a 51 per cent stake, as British utility Centrica owns 20 per cent.

EDF can also exercise a put option to sell its 49.9 per cent stake in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) to its joint venture partner Exelon under a deal agreed in July 2013.

CENG operates five nuclear plants in the United States and EDF’s stake in the firm is valued at about $3bn in its accounts, according to Les Echos.

Les Echos also said EDF is considering selling half of its French high-voltage power transmission unit RTE, although no decision has been taken.

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