EdF takes 10 per cent stake in Belgium utility

Electricit௿½e France (EdF) has acquired a 10 per cent interest in the Belgian power producer SPE, according to a statement released by SPE on Friday. A week ago, EdF was given European Commission approval for its indirect purchase of a stake in Spanish utility Hidrocantabrico.

SPE said that by choosing EdF, it has secured solid support for its future development. It also revealed that the acquisition might be followed by further co-operation in the areas of production, trading, marketing and client support. SPE said EdF was expected eventually to lift its stake in the Belgian group to 49 per cent.

EdF’s expansion into the domestic electricity markets of fellow EU members has upset those who feel that the state-owned power giant is benefiting from a protected home market while exploiting more liberalized conditions elsewhere. Last month the Commission approved EdF’s purchase of a minority stake in Montedison, the Italian group.

Financial details of the SPE transaction were not disclosed.

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