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EDF Transfers U.K. Eggborough Plant to Bondholders

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest electricity generator, transferred control of the 2,000-megawatt Eggborough coal-fed power station in northern England to the plant’s bondholders as part of an earlier agreement.

The bondholders’ adviser, Lexicon Partners, and Electricite de France SA confirmed the transaction today in separate e-mailed statements. In August, the bondholders had exercised an option to buy the plant in Selby this year. EDF acquired the plant as part of its takeover last year of British Energy Group Plc. The bondholders’ option stemmed from a 2005 plan to save British Energy from bankruptcy.

The transfer was in conformance with EDF’s commitments to the European Commission as part of its acquisition of British Energy, company spokesman Martyn Butlin said by e-mail today. He declined to say whether EDF received money from the transfer.

International Power Plc, the U.K. utility operating in 20 countries and one of the Eggborough bondholders, now has a 10 percent stake in the plant as a result of the transfer, company spokeswoman Aarti Singhal said by telephone.

International Power’s trading desk is “not involved in trading the output from the asset,” she said.

The company had written down the value of its option on the stake by 25 million pounds ($38 million), according to its March 9 financial statement.

Lexicon Partners declined to comment on the cost of the transaction, future plans for the power station and how the trading arrangements would be managed.

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