French utility EDF has lunched a GBP 1 billion bond, and approved the sale of its UK electricty distribution network.
EDF has launched a 40-year bond issue in sterling pound, for a total amount of GBP 1 billion, with a 5.125% annual coupon. It is the longest maturity ever achieved by EDF and the largest ever issue by a corporate in sterling pound with such maturity.
This issue is part of the financial policy initiated by EDF with a view to lengthening the average maturity of the Group's gross debt. This stands at 8.8 years after this issue against 7.4 as of 31 December 2009.
Also on 7 September, EDF’s Board of Directors has approved the sale of its UK electricity distribution networks to the Cheung Kong group (CKI) following its irrevocable offer of 29 July, worth GBP 3.2 billion in equity. This would represent a EUR 6.8 billion in net debt reduction for the Group.
The transaction remains subject to the approval of CKI Group shareholders, approval by decree of the French Minister of the Economy and authorization from the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission.
Commenting on the sale, EDF Energy Chief Executive and member of EDF Group Executive Committee Vincent de Rivaz said: "EDF has shown a consistent and growing commitment to the UK through the major investments it has made over the past 12 years. In addition, along with partners including Centrica, EDF Energy is considering building four new nuclear EPRs, subject to the right investment framework being in place".
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