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March 11, 2022

France looking to nationalise debt-laden power company EDF

The French Government, which holds an 84% stake in the $30bn energy giant, could retain domestic business but review overseas operations.

The Government of France is reportedly weighing options to nationalise multinational electric utility company Electricite de France (EDF), reported Bloomberg.

Citing people familiar with this, the report said that the French Government is considering the option to reorganise the debt-laden business with a focus on nuclear energy production.

French officials have been carrying out talks with advisers on the option to acquire all the stake from EDF’s small stakeholders and delist the company from the stock exchange, people aware of the development said.

The French Government, which owns 84% of EDF, could retain the ownership of the company’s domestic business but review EDF’s overseas operations, the sources added.

If the idea to nationalise EDF is approved, then the move is expected to take place after the French Presidential election, which is slated to take place later this year.

EDF may also divest its overseas renewable assets, according to the sources.

The move would help EDF raise capital to finance some of its nuclear and hydroelectric assets in the country.

It may also attract foreign investors to make investments in its renewable projects in the country, the undisclosed sourced opined.

People familiar with the development said that the discussions are still at a very preliminary stage and there is no guarantee that the government could proceed with this option.

However, a spokesperson for the French finance ministry said that the information is ‘false’ and the government isn’t working on such a project.

Last month, French Government announced it will offer $2.4bn to support EDF, as the group sees a hit to profits due to outages at several of its nuclear plants and the impacts of a government power-price cap.

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