Electricite de France (EDF) is exploring options to either sell or stake part of its French distribution network Reseau de Transport d’Electricite this year.
According to Bloomberg, the firm has conducted meetings with advisers about the structure and timing of a deal, which could value the French distribution network at approximately $17.1bn.
The Paris-based firm is yet to take a final decision.
According to the report, the transaction is dependent on the strategy of the new chief executive officer Jean-Bernard Levy and the approval of the French Government to the terms.
RTE employs 8,400 people and operates more than 104,000km of electricity lines across France.
The various options could include selling a stake, selling off parts of the business, or looking for partners.
EDF will require an investment of approximately €55bn to revamp its old nuclear reactors in the country.
The sale process is likely to attract the interest of institutional investors such as sovereign-wealth, pension, and infrastructure funds.
However, these potential buyers would be given a chance to bid only if the country’s laws, which currently restrict ownership of RTE to EDF or state-run companies, are changed.
EDF is planning to hire advisers in the second half of the year. The process to sell parts of the business is likely to commence by the end of this year.