Le Monde | • Updated | By
EDF comes forward significantly to solve its difficult financial equation. After months of discussions, the public company has finally found an agreement to sell the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) 49% of the Manager of its subsidiary RTE (Electricity Transport Network). A letter of intent should be signed Thursday, July 28, and submitted to the Board of Directors of EDF already scheduled in the afternoon, especially for the half-year, say two convergent sources. EDF and the CDC will thus be able to formally enter into exclusive negotiations.
The price on which EDF and the CDC have finally agreed is not known at this stage. Only information: it corresponds to a total valuation to top TEN 6 or 7 billion raised so far
The opening of the capital RTE is part of a divestment program. about 10 billion euros in 2020 planned by EDF to reduce its heavy debt and fund its significant investments, particularly modernization of nuclear power plants and the construction at Hinkley Point, in Britain, two new generation reactors , EPR. The decision on the latter project, highly contested, must be formally taken at the Board of Directors on Thursday.
EDF is considering for years to sell a stake in RTE, its 100% subsidiary responsible for managing the 105,000 km of high and very high voltage lines. But unions generally show themselves hostile. And in the current state, the French legislation requires that the entire RTE capital is held by EDF, the State or other companies or organizations in the public sector. Which greatly limits the range of possible buyers for units now in the hands of EDF
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a specialist in public investments in infrastructure and long-term projects, the deposit was from the start face of obvious buyer. But its leaders have tried to take advantage of this position to negotiate a reduced price, and discussions dragged.
Over the weeks, the Deposit has nevertheless been subjected to strong pressure to be a little more generous. political pressure but also pressure other investors interested in the issue, as funds that foreign manufacturers, especially Chinese and Canadian, as Hydro-Québec. “It does not happen a week without this or that up to the plate, including exotic enough investors,” confirms a public official.
Ultimately an agreement has been reached. With only one month behind the schedule set by the government publicly
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