Energy Economy

24 Nov 2022

Markets Regulator Clears French Bid to Nationalise EDF Utility

24 Nov 2022  by   

The logo of Electricite de France (EDF) is seen in front of electrical pylons at the Tricastin nuclearÊpower plant site in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, France, November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

French markets regulator AMF said on Tuesday it had cleared the French state's buyout bid, marking an important step in its plan to fully nationalise the loss-making nuclear utility.

France is buying out the 16% of EDF it does not already own to give itself a free hand in running the nuclear utility as European governments seek to secure energy supplies.

The AMF said in a statement announcing its decision that it would publish its reasoning behind shortly. EDF's board voted on Oct. 27 to declare that the French state's offer to pay 12 euros per share was equitable.

When the state filed its offer with the AMF last month, it expected to receive the go-ahead around Nov.8. That would have allowed it to launch its buyout offer on the market shortly afterwards, with a view to complete the process around Dec. 8.

No date has been set yet to finalise the buyout.

Some U.S. funds holding EDF shares, including hedge fund TIG Advisors, were challenging the buyout price and asking for an increase, arguing that disclosures over the impact of government decisions in recent years on EDF's finances were insufficient.

The AMF has pointed out that is does not rule on price, but only assesses that the offer complies with French legislation.

Since the offer price was announced this summer, EDF shares have been trading just below it, showing the market was not betting on an increased bid.

Shares in EDF closed at 11.95 euros on Tuesday.

EDF booked a net loss of 5.29 billion euros in the first half after a profit of 4.17 billion a year earlier.

Since then, the firm has issued more profit warnings as its nuclear output has been hit as up to half its 56 nuclear reactors have been offline due to planned maintenance, strikes and work to repair corrosion.


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