Centrica said may revive British Energy offer

LONDON Sun Aug 3, 2008 4:36pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Centrica (CNA.L) may revive plans for a 22.5 billion pound all-paper merger with British Energy BGY.L after French group EDF's takeover of the nuclear operator stalled on Friday, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Utility Centrica was to have been a junior partner in the EDF (EDF.PA) deal, which was derailed by leading British Energy shareholders because of concerns that the price was too low, sources told Reuters on Friday.

Centrica, which is Britain's largest electricity and gas supplier, will discuss its proposal with key investors, the Telegraph said, citing sources close to the company.

It also wants the backing of the government, which owns 35 percent of British Energy, before launching a formal offer, the newspaper said.

The EDF deal would have netted the government around 4.6 million pounds -- officially to go towards the clean-up of Britain's declining nuclear power sector.

Industry sources previously told Reuters that Centrica put forward an all-share merger proposal earlier in the year, but it was rejected due to an absence of cash in the offer.

Centrica and British Energy declined comment on Sunday.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sue Thomas)

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