UK secretary of state for trade and industry, Alistair Darling, has announced to the Stock Exchange that the government has disposed of part of its interest in nuclear generator British Energy through a share offering.
A total of 450 million shares, including the exercise in full of an over-allotment option of 50 million shares, have been sold. Based on the offering price of 520p ($10.40) per offering share, the gross proceeds are expected to be approximately £2.34 billion ($4.68 billion).
Net proceeds from the sale will go to the Nuclear Liabilities Fund (NLF) to meet the future decommissioning costs of the company’s eight nuclear power stations: Dungeness B; Hartlepool; Heysham 1; Heysham 2; Hinkley Point B; Hunterston B; Sizewell B and Torness.
The effect of the disposal will be to reduce the NLF's economic interest in British Energy from approximately 64% to around 36%.