(Adds details of sale, background)
PARIS, June 20 Gaz de France GAZ.PA said on
Friday it had agreed to sell its 25.5 percent stake in Belgian
electricity company SPE to French power giant EDF (EDF.PA) for
515 million euros ($799.8 million).
Gaz de France said last month it had entered exclusive
talks with EDF over the sale of its SPE stake, which the
European Commission asked the French state-controlled group to
divest as part of its plans to merge with Suez LYOE.PA.
The deal is subject to the successful conclusion of the Gaz
de France-Suez merger, which is expected to be completed in the
second half of July, Gaz de France said in a statement.
Its successful closure also depends on whether Britain's
Centrica (CNA.L), which also owns 25.5 percent of SPE,
exercises its pre-emption rights to buy Gaz de France's stake
or not. No mention of this was made in the statement.
Gaz de France said the price did not include "an additional
purchase price due after commitments made by Suez Electrabel
towards the Belgian state have been fulfilled."
This additional amount is related to the right that would
be granted to SPE to use some of the production capacity of
nuclear plants operated by Suez's Belgian subsidiary
This right had been negotiated by the Belgian state as part
of the planned Suez-Gaz de France merger and was aimed at
reinforcing SPE's role as a competitor to Electrabel.
It is not yet known how much capacity SPE will be granted
The Gaz de France-Suez merger has led to a shake-up of
Belgium's energy sector. Last month, Suez agreed to sell its
57.5 percent stake in Distrigas DISTy.BR -- Belgium's main
gas operator -- to Italy's ENI (ENI.MI).
(Reporting by Marie Maitre, editing by Richard Chang)