“We made no offer for company T,” Mestrallet said, referring to a Reuters report that GDF made an approach for Talisman last year. “We have no large acquisition plans on the table. We don’t need one.”
GDF Suez, France’s former natural-gas monopoly, can meet plans to expand outside Europe through organic growth and occasional “medium-sized” acquisitions, Mestrallet told reporters at a press conference in Paris today. The CEO has invested in countries including Morocco, South Africa and Mongolia to compensate for stagnant energy demand in Europe.
“CEO denied it: good,” equities analysts at UBS AG said in a note to clients this morning. A “ sharp rise in upstream exposure could de-rate GDF.”
The company fell as much as 3 percent to 16.91 euros in Paris trading. It pared losses after Mestrallet’s comments on Talisman and traded at 17.16 euros at 9:46 a.m. local time.
The European market, where GDF has shut 10,000 megawatts of gas-fired plants, remains “extremely difficult,” Mestrallet said, calling on European Union to “strengthen” the carbon emissions market.
The Paris-based company has no plans for an initial public offering of energy-services unit Cofely, Mestrallet said.
GDF, which has made “spectacular” progress reducing debt, wants to keep the A rating from credit agencies, Mestrallet said. The company’s net capital spending including acquisitions last year was in the targeted range of 7 billion euros ($9.5 billion) to 8 billion euros, he said.
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