Energy giants come head to head over British Energy

04 August 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Not only are British Gas and EDF Energy competing in putting their energy prices up, it seems both energy giants are still in the race for the takeover of nuclear power company British Energy.

According to reports, a £12billion bid from French energy group EDF that was expected to go through was snubbed at the last minute by two of the company's larger shareholders.

Consequently, British Gas owner Centrica is reportedly back in the game for potential ownership of British Energy, despite already putting such plans on hold.

Further reports suggest that the Government, which has a 36 per cent stake in British Energy, is keen for a swift takeover, and is expected to put pressure on EDF to up the ante with its bid.

Expressing the Government's disappointment with delays in negotiations, Business Secretary John Hutton, said: "I am disappointed that talks between British Energy and EDF have not yet been successful. We thought it was a good deal and we were ready to accept. EDF is the world's largest nuclear operator. It would have been a sensible way to take forward new nuclear plans in the UK."

As both British Gas and EDF Energy have recently announced price hikes as a result of huge wholesale energy costs, the need for alternative energy sources has been highlighted, as millions of Brits live in fuel poverty. Referring to this, Mr Hutton concluded:

"Recent developments in energy markets underline the need for new nuclear to combat high fossil fuel prices, climate change and security of supply."

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