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Chinese seek stake in Portuguese power firm

The Sines plant
“’ one of EDP’s recently
upgraded thermal
Lisbon, Portugal —- ESI-AFRICA.COM — 25 October 2011 – The Portuguese government has received six proposals “’ one of them from China’s Three Gorges Corporation “’ to acquire the state’s 21% stake in power company Energias de Portugal (EDP).

In a statement filed with Portuguese stock market regulator CMVM, state holding company Parpública said that, as part of the 8th phase of the process of re-privatisation of the capital of EDP, Parpública had consulted potential parties interested in acquiring EDP shares, and had received six expressions of interest.

According to the Portuguese press, four of the six interested parties are Brazilian groups, one is Germany’s E.ON and the sixth is China’s Three Gorges Corporation.

Portuguese financial daily newspaper Diário Económico reported that China Power had foregone putting forward a proposal due to another Chinese group showing interest, and that France’s EDF and Spain’s Gas Natural Formosa had dropped out.

The acquisition proposals are, for now, merely indicative, and are on the basis of starting negotiations with the State until binding proposals are put forward.

The acquisition contract is due to be signed by the end of the year but, due to the need for prior approval by the regulatory authorities (namely the Competition Authority) the deal is only expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2012.