EDF May Not Keep its Stake in Swiss Utility Alpiq, CEO Says

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, may sell minority holdings in companies like Swiss utility Alpiq Holding AG.

Alpiq is “probably not” a long-term investment, Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio said today in Paris following a presentation of 2012 earnings.

EDF sold its stake in Germany’s EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG and took control of Edison SpA in Italy as part of a reorganization of holdings in Europe. The French utility reported earnings today that included an impairment of 248 million euros for Alpiq, in which it has held a 25 percent stake since 2009.

“Everything is open. We won’t stay as we are in minority positions,” Proglio said. “We want to be in control of our own destiny.”

Alpiq is in the midst of a restructuring after starting a cost-cutting initiative in November 2011. It has sold 500 million francs ($543 million) of assets, streamlined its organization to make 100 million francs in annual savings, and decided to pull out of the retail business in Spain and Italy last year.

EDF doesn’t feel “under pressure” to sell assets, Proglio said. The French utility reported pro forma debt at the end of last year of 39.2 billion euros compared with 33.3 billion euros the previous year.

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