British Energy confirms takeover proposals

16 May 2008

British Energy (BE), the UK's nuclear generator, announced today that it had received "a range of proposals from several parties wishing to make a full offer for the company including the Nuclear Liabilities Fund," which represents the UK government's 35% stake in BE.

The company added that some of these "include proposals priced higher than the company's closing share price on 15 May," which was 680 pence ($13.20) per share. BE's shares had fallen 13% from an all-time high of 785 pence ($15.30) on 25 April as hopes of a bidding war at a significant premium of its share price faded.

In a statement, BE said: "The board has reviewed the proposals and has decided that discussions should continue with all the parties concerned. The board wishes to stress that each of the proposals requires further development and that the process is therefore likely to continue for a number of weeks."

EOn, RWE, Electricité de France (EdF), Suez and Iberdrola, as well as the UK's Centrica, have all been linked to the potential purchase of an interest in BE, which owns the most attractive ready-licensed and grid-connected sites for possible new reactors. The company has been in talks with many European utilities and every major reactor vendor, while observers eagerly await an announcement on its final plans for new nuclear build.

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