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French energy firm GDF Suez to take control of UK competitor

Video by Fiona CAMERON

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-11

French energy group GDF Suez will acquire 70 percent of its British competitor International Power, the two groups announced Tuesday. The new company, to be called New International Power, will be the world's largest independent power producer.

AP - French electricity and natural gas utility GDF Suez SA said Tuesday it is combining the assets of its global energy unit with Britain's International Power to create the world's largest independent power producer.

GDF Suez, which reported a 9.3 percent rise in first half profit, will pay shareholders of International Power 92 pence (1.10, $1.45) per share.

It said it will transfer some its non-European, Turkish and British assets and 4.4 billion of debt to International Power, forming a producer with a 66 gigawatt capacity.

Partially state-owned GDF Suez will own 70 percent of the company, with International Power shareholders owning the remaining 30 percent.

The new company, to be called New International Power, will have a strong market position in Latin America, North America, Britain, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia, GDF Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet said in a statement.

``International Power will be particularly well positioned to capture the growth opportunities in emerging markets, where energy needs will be strong in the coming years,'' he said.

It will be listed on the British stock exchange and run by International Power's Philip Cox as CEO.

Sir Neville Simms, Chairman of International Power, said the two companies have ``a highly complementary geographic footprint.''

The announcement comes as both companies report first half results.

GDF Suez reported Tuesday that net profit rose to 3.6 billion in the six months through June. International Power said its net profit fell 49 percent to 199 million pounds (239 million, $317 million).

Date created : 2010-08-10