March 18, 2016 / 9:53 AM / 3 years ago

EDF aid would be funded by state asset sales - French minister

A view shows the cooling towers of the Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power station in Civaux, France, March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - Any injection of French government funds into EDF (EDF.PA) would have to be financed by selling stakes in other state-controlled firms to avoid raising public debt, Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Friday.

EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy warned last week that he would not go ahead with the hefty investment for a nuclear reactor project in Britain without additional financial support from the French state.

“Should we need to recapitalise any public company, we would do it through the management of our assets, that means by selling stakes in other companies,” Sapin told Radio Classique.

“We must not increase France’s debt,” he added.

Sapin said nothing had been decided yet on how to help EDF, and that the government had asked the utility to make efforts of its own and be more selective with its investments.

Reporting by Simon Carraud and Michel Rose; Editing by Alexander Smith

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