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Scottish and Southern Energy does not seek majority share in EDF networks

Energy company decides not to seek majority share in the EDF-owned UK electricity distribution netwo

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has decided that it will not seek to buy an ownership stake in the UK electricity distribution networks currently owned by EDF Energy Networks on a scale that would need to be funded by issuing new shares.

The company said that it will, however, continue to work with Borealis Infrastructure in the current sale process being run by EDF, the outcome of which could, potentially, result in SSE having a small ownership interest in the networks.

Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE, said: "We have always maintained a highly disciplined approach to acquisitions, investment and to financial management generally, and that will continue.

"The new dividend targets we announced on 19 May are based on our existing operational plans and on the earnings that will arise from our investment programme, which is already well-financed. We do not need to make any acquisitions and do not need to, or plan to, issue equity to help meet these dividend targets."

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: "We have a proven track record in the management and operation of energy networks and other utility infrastructure, and a long-standing and strong partnership with Borealis.

"We will, therefore, continue to work in partnership with Borealis for the remainder of the EDF sale process. We would like the opportunity to apply SSE's management and operational capability to the EDF networks, but only on a basis that represents good value for both partners."

In October last year, the French utility had initiated the process to evaluate ownership options for its electricity distribution business in the UK, which was in line with its intention to reduce its net financial debt by at least EUR5bn by the end of 2010.