Li Ka-shing to acquire EDFs UK grids for $9.1 billion

Written by Reuters | Updated: Aug 1 2010, 04:45am hrs
Billionaire Li Ka-shing has offered to buy UK power grids from Frances EDF for 5.8 billion ($9.1 billion) in the biggest single European acquisition by a North Asian group.

Confirming an earlier Reuters story, Cheung Kong Infrastructure and Hongkong Electric said they won an auction for three power distribution grids and private power networks owned in Britain by EDF, the worlds second-largest utility. EDFs electricity distribution network is Britains biggest, supplying power from the high-voltage grid to 20 million people.

The sale also includes a private networks business that delivers power to the London Underground, Heathrow airport and the Channel Tunnel under decades-long contracts.

The sale caps a process that has dragged on for more than a year, delayed by a change in EDF management, British regulatory rulings, and difficulties with pension trustees.