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By Samuel R. Avro on Dec 3, 2008 with no responses

Edf Challenges Buffet’s Bid To Take Over Major Utility Company

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The French company EdF, already a major player in the nuclear power industry is trying to outmaneuver Warren Buffet's plans to buy Constellation Energy.

The French company EdF, already a major player in the nuclear power industry is trying to outmaneuver Warren Buffet.

Electricite de France (EdF) has made a $4.5 billion offer to purchase half of Constellation Energy’s nuclear power unit, a proposal that may scuttle a planned takeover by MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a division of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Just yesterday, Constellation revealed that it would have filed for bankruptcy protection if not for the immediate cash infusion of $1 billion which came from Buffet’s MidAmerican as part of their $4.7 billion buyout deal.

The bid from the French company to purchase half of Contellation is nearly the same price that MidAmerican offered to buy the entire company. Even so, Constellation Energy said in a statement that they recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the MidAmerican merger.

Electricite de France is one of the biggest players in the nuclear power business with more than 38 million customers around the world. Pending European regulatory approval, they are set to purchase British Energy for $18.4 billion. That deal, which  includes eight nuclear plants, would give them a dominant role in the British nuclear industry.

Constellation is the biggest American supplier of electricity to large commercial and industrial customers.  Though they also own coal and natural gas plants, 61 percent of their power generation comes from their nuclear plants. The company owns and operates three power stations and five nuclear reactors in Maryland and New York.

A vote on the MidAmerican proposal by the company’s shareholders is scheduled for Dec. 23.