November 25, 2019 / 10:01 AM / 14 days ago

UK's SSE creates Swiss holding co. as nationalisation hedge

(Reuters) - British power firm SSE (SSE.L) has created a Swiss holding company for its electricity distribution and transmission businesses, it said on Monday, in a move seen as a safeguard against nationalisation plans should the Labour Party win next month’s general election.

The deal involves the transfer of shares to the new holding company, it said.

“This is intended to support long-term investment in low carbon infrastructure in SSE’s core businesses - there are no profit or tax advantages and it is fully consistent with SSE’s commitment to fair tax,” the company said in an emailed statement.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported over the weekend that power suppliers National Grid (NG.L) and SSE were shifting ownership of their British operations into offshore companies to protect against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s threat of cut-price nationalisation.

National Grid did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

SSE warned this month of challenges facing energy firms due to the Dec. 12 election and opposition Labour Party plans to nationalise some energy infrastructure.

A Survation poll over the weekend showed 41% of respondents said they would vote Conservative versus 30% for Labour.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Muvija M; editing by Jason Neely

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