Spain’s Endesa makes French acquisition

PARIS, France, Nov. 8, 2000à‚–Spain’s largest electricity company Endesa has established a foothold in France’s electricity market through the acquisition of 30% of the country’s third largest power company, Société Nationale d’Electricité et de Thermique (SNET), an affiliate of the national coal utility Charbonnages de France (CdF) SA.

SNET will be partly privatized through the 2.4 billion franc deal. Endesa has the option of subsequently acquiring the 51% CdF still holds.

This is the first time a foreign electricity company has made inroads into France’s electricity market. SNET has a workforce of 1,300 and owns five coal-fired power stations amounting to a total of 2,600 MW. Electricité de France, which owns 19% of SNET, is its largest buyer of electricity, but with the opening of France’s electricity market SNET is trying to diversify its sales and has already obtained five contracts with eligible industrial groups.

Endesa said it outbid Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux and RWE AG for the stake in SNET.

Meanwhile, as part of project “Beijing Blue Sky”à‚–a scheme to fight pollution in China and improve the country’s chances of hosting the 2008 Olympic Gamesà‚–the city’s administration has signed a letter of intent with Electricité de France to modify 10 coal-powered electricity plants into gas-fired plants.

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