PARIS: France said it would lead a four billion euro capital increase for power company EDF (Electricite de France), months after agreeing a similar cash injection for the other pillar of its nuclear industry Areva. EDF, which is 85% owned by the French state, also pledged to cut millions more in costs and sell off assets in a bid to reduce its huge pile of debt. The electricity giant has been hit by weak European electricity prices and hefty investments, notably its plans to help build Britain’s controversial Hinkley Point nuclear plant at a projected cost of $26 billion. The four billion euros capital will be raised through a market operation to be carried out by the beginning of next year. In exchange, EDF will redouble its debt-cutting efforts, targeting cost reductions of at least a billion euros in 2019. The group also plans to raise 10 billion euros from selling off gas, coal and oil interests.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2016.
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