11 April 2002 – French state-controlled power supplier Electricité de France (EdF) has submitted a bid for Seeboard, the southeast England power distribution company that has been put up for sale by owner American Electric Power (AEP), according to a report in French newspaper Les Echos.
AEP is understood to have put a price tag of £1.5bn($1.05bn) on Seeboard, which sells energy to approximately two million households and businesses in the UK.
The Crawley-based company also operates and maintains an electricity network of over 45 000 km (28 000 miles) of overhead lines and underground cables and, with its consortium partners, also manage and operate the electricity distribution system serving the London Underground.
AEP retained Schroder Salomon Smith Barney and ABN AMRO to advise it on prospects for the divestment of Seeboard. AEP acquired Seeboard as part of its merger with Central and South West Corp., a U.S. electric utility, in June 2000. CSW had acquired Seeboard in 1996. Because of accounting restrictions stemming from AEP’s merger with CSW, any divestment of Seeboard is not expected until the third quarter of 2002.
Germany’s giant power group E.ON is also understood to be in the running, the paper says.