British prime minister welcomes EDF energy takeover deal
Prime Minister Gordon Brown Wednesday welcomed the agreed takeover of Britain's energy supplier British Energy (BE) by French group EDF as a "significant step towards the construction of a new generation of nuclear power stations."
The British government, which has a 36-per-cent share in BE, is set to bank a multi-billion pound windfall from the deal.
"New nuclear is becoming a reality," Brown told Sky News television.
It was confirmed in London Wednesday that British Gas parent Centrica is in talks with EDF to buy a 25-per-cent stake in the new company once the takeover is completed.
British Energy's power plants generate an estimated 14 per cent of the electricity supply in Britain.
"This deal is good value for the taxpayer and a significant step towards the construction of a new generation of nuclear stations to power the country," said Brown.
However, critics of the deal in Britain have said they are concerned about placing the future of nuclear energy into the hands of a "foreign" company and one majority-owned by the French state.