The French owner of the Hinkley Point C project is selling off prime assets in order to fund development of the controversial UK nuclear reactor. According to reports in Le Figaro over the weekend, EDF, is looking for a buyer of a 50 per cent stake in RTE, Europe’s biggest high-voltage electricity transmission grid. The debt-laden French state-controlled energy provider needs to sell non-core assets in order to fund the tens of billions of euros of investment that Hinkley Point requires. Although RTE is run as an entirely separate entity – due to EU rules that prevent utility companies controlling the electricity networks – the plan would be to create a holding company which would either be held directly by EDF or via French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots (CDC). On Friday EDF announced that it would be holding an EGM on 26 July to obtain clearance for a 4 billion euro share issue. As an 85 per cent shareholder the French government would be would provide over 3 billion euros. The cash is to be used alongside proceeds for non-core sales to fund projects such as Hinkley Point.
City AM 5th June 2016 read more »