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France begins nationalisation of power giant

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
France begins nationalisation of power giant
The logo of EDF on the headquarters' building in 2019 in Paris (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP)

On Tuesday, France began the process of taking full control of EDF, the highly indebted power utility that is to spearhead efforts to relaunch the country's nuclear industry.

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The state, which currently owns 84 percent of EDF, filed a takeover offer with the financial markets regulators, the first step in removing EDF's shares from the market.

The French government in July signalled its intention to fully reabsorb EDF.

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It hopes the move will help re-instill confidence in the company, which has a €60-billion debt, as the government wants to launch construction of six next-generation nuclear reactors.

The state is offering €12 per share, and if it takes its holding to 90 percent, it can force other shareholders to sell.

The entire operation will cost €9.7 billion.

After the 1970s energy shocks, France began a massive programme to build nuclear power plants, which eventually accounted for around three-quarters of electricity production.

But France's oldest reactors are reaching the end of their service lives and EDF's efforts to build a new generation of nuclear power plants has faced massive delays and cost overruns.

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