By Jean-Stéphane Brosse and Benoit Van Overstraeten
PARIS (Reuters) -EDF and the French authorities are looking for a brand new boss to overtake the ability utility and construct extra nuclear reactors, they mentioned on Thursday, a day after France introduced it could absolutely nationalise the debt-laden firm.
EDF (EPA:), wherein the state already has an 84% stake, is certainly one of Europe’s greatest utilities and is central to France’s nuclear technique, which the federal government is banking on to blunt the affect of hovering vitality costs exacerbated by the warfare in Ukraine.
Lower than 20 years after EDF was floated on the inventory market to a lot fanfare, the utility is beset by outages at its ageing nuclear crops, has suffered pricey delays on new reactors, and borne the brunt of presidency measures to defend households from surging vitality prices.
“The roadmap for the long run chief of EDF is to supply extra … as shortly as potential; it’s the building of six new EPR nuclear reactors and it’s the continuation of the dedication in renewable energies”, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire informed Europe 1 radio.
He didn’t recommend a alternative for Jean-Bernard Levy, 67, who has been on the helm of the corporate since 2014 and was because of step down by March 2023, however he outlined some job necessities.
“It must be somebody who masters the most important industrial programmes … and who has a way of compromise. With the commerce unions, with the European Fee, it is going to be needed that all of us discover a compromise on the transformation of this firm,” Le Maire mentioned.
EDF mentioned Levy, who criticised the federal government this yr for making it promote nuclear vitality at a decrease value than rivals, was ready to step down as quickly as a successor was discovered.
Le Maire mentioned altering CEO was not a punishment for his criticism.
NO QUICK FIX
Citi analyst Piotr Dzieciolowski mentioned the federal government was prone to absolutely nationalise EDF through a share provide slightly than regulation, calling it an “simpler and possibly cheaper choice, and we predict there may be excessive chance it is going to be carried out at premium to present share value.”
Shopping for the shares the federal government doesn’t already personal on the present costs would value about 5 billion euros ($5.1 billion).
Analysts mentioned taking full management of EDF wouldn’t remedy the utility’s issues in a single day.
“EDF’s working issues on current nuclear crops and constructing new ones are usually not going to be immediately impacted by nationalisation,” mentioned Denis Florin of vitality consultancy Lavoisier Conseil.
Though France’s new parliament is fragmented, most events assist championing France’s nuclear business.
“The federal government thinks it may well construct a tactical majority in parliament round EDF, probably accelerating the re-organisation of the group,” Florin added.
Shares in EDF traded at about 9 euros on Thursday, 90% down from a 2007 excessive and much beneath the 32 euros per share itemizing value in 2005.
Barclays (LON:) in a analysis notice put a value goal of 11.10 euros on EDF shares.
($1 = 0.9791 euros)