On 22 December 2008, the European Commission approved the proposed acquisition by EdF of British Energy, subject to conditions. The acquisition is valued at approximately £12.5 billion.
The Commission was concerned that a combination of EdF, a French electricity generating and wholesale trading company, and British Energy, a British company active in the same markets, would raise several serious competition concerns. These included (i) the ability of the merged entity to withdraw electricity supplies thereby causing an increase in electricity prices and (ii) the parties? ownership of a significant number of sites suitable for the next generation of UK nuclear power stations.
To remedy the Commission?s concerns, EdF offered wideranging commitments, including (i) the divestiture of two power stations and a site in the UK suitable for building a nuclear power station and (ii) the sale of minimum volumes of electricity on the wholesale market for a given period of time. The Commission concluded that this remedy package was sufficient to allay its concerns. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2009.