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Global Economy

France's billion bid for EDF

The French government has finalized its plans for the complete takeover of the energy supplier EDF. She will spend almost ten billion euros to buy the shares she lacks. The public offering envisages offering twelve euros per share certificate. That price is 53 percent higher than the stock's closing price the day before the government announced its intention to fully nationalize it.

Group already 84 percent state-owned

Parliament still has to approve the necessary budgetary funds. But if the green light is given, Europe's largest nuclear power producer would come under full state control for 9.7 billion euros. The French state currently holds 84 percent of the group.

France's economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, said this morning: "This move gives EDF the resources it needs to accelerate the implementation of the nuclear program announced by the President." Emmanuel Macron wants to have six new pressurized water reactors built – the largest investment in nuclear energy in decades.

EDF heavily in debt

But EDF got into trouble. The group has high debts: it could be 60 billion euros by the end of the year, according to estimates. There are also numerous problems with both the existing Meilerpark and the new construction projects. The pressurized water reactor in Flammanville, for example, is still not connected to the grid after ten years of construction delays and a 600 percent increase in costs.

More than half of all 56 reactors are currently idle and not producing electricity. Lengthy and costly maintenance work is required on the reactors, which are on average over 35 years old. In addition, an unforeseen corrosion problem on 12 reactors of a newer series is causing the engineers headaches. From the Elysée it is therefore said: Nationalization is only the first step towards reorganizing the entire group.

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