France plans to pay 9.7 billion euros, or about $9.8 billion, to fully renationalise EDF, the state-backed electricity giant, to a degree that the government says would allow it to strengthen the country’s energy independence, revise its nuclear program and invest in renewable energies. .
The French Ministry of Finance said tuesday that he would offer EDF shareholders €12 per share for the roughly 14% of the company’s shares that the government does not already own. This price is more than 50% higher than what shares were trading just over two weeks ago when Élisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister, announced the renationalisation plan.
Shares of EDF, which had been suspended pending details of the offer, rose 15% when they reopened in Paris on Tuesday. The finance ministry said it plans to file the offer with the market regulator by early September.
Although France gets around 70% of its electricity from nuclear power, Borne noted that it can no longer rely on Russian oil and gas. The government must ensure its energy sovereignty by owning 100% of EDF’s capital, she said. The company, which has 43 billion euros in debt, is the main electricity producer in France and operates all of its nuclear power plants.
About half of France’s atomic fleet has been taken out of service due to a series of unexpected problems that have plagued EDF, including corrosion inside power plants and a hotter climate that is making it harder to cool aging reactors . The outages have pushed the country’s nuclear power output to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, pushing electricity bills to record highs as war in Ukraine fuels wider inflation.
Liz Alderman, Constant Meheut and Aurelien Breeden contributed report.