Another UK power firm was poised for foreign ownership today after International Power agreed a merger with France’s GDF Suez.
International Power, which owns UK assets including the giant coal-fired station at Rugeley in Staffordshire, will be 70% owned by GDF under the deal to create one of the world’s biggest independent power generators.
The proposed tie-up comes after British Energy was bought by another French company, EDF, for £12.5bn (€15bn) in 2008.
It leaves Britain owning just two independent energy producers in Centrica and Scottish & Southern Energy.
The new business, which will combine International Power’s 45 power stations and the international assets of GDF, will continue to be listed on the London Stock Exchange with GDF as its majority shareholder.
GDF will pay a special dividend of about 90p a share, worth £1.4bn (€1.7bn), to International Power’s shareholders as part of the deal, which is structured as a reverse takeover.