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EDF in Talks to Sell Slovak Stake for 400 Million Euros

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, is in exclusive talks to sell a 49 percent stake in a Slovakian electricity distributor for about 400 million euros ($514 million), EDF said in a statement today.

EDF announced it is in exclusive negotiations with Czech utility Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding AS to sell a stake in the company, Stredoslovenska Energetika AS, which operates in the central province of Zilina, according to the statement. The deal is expected to be signed in the coming days, the company said.

EDF, controlled by the French government, acquired the business known as SSE for 160 million euros in 2002 and has received about 200 millions euros in dividends since the purchase, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as some details aren’t public. The sale is part of a move by EDF to dispose of holdings where it doesn’t have full control. The company may sell minority stakes in companies including Swiss utility Alpiq Holding AG, and sold its interest in Germany’s EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG.

The other stakeholder in SSE is the Slovakian government’s National Property Fund. SSE has more than 700,000 customers, according to the company’s website. The sale price represents more than six times the company’s 2012 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

EPH, based in Prague, earlier this year agreed to acquire Slovak gas utility Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel AS.

An official at EPH was unavailable outside of normal business hours. An official at EDF declined to comment.

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