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Centrica nears deal to buy nuke stake

BRITISH energy firm Centrica PLC is on the brink of a deal to buy a 25-percent stake in nuclear power operator British Energy for 3.1 billion pounds (US$4.7 billion), newspapers reported yesterday.

The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph said French power provider Electricite de France SA had agreed to sell the stake to Centrica, which owns British Gas.

In January, EdF completed a 12.5-billion-pound takeover of British Energy, which runs eight United Kingdom-based nuclear power stations.

The Sunday Times said the companies hoped to announce the deal at Centrica's annual meeting in London today. Centrica spokesman Andrew Turpin declined to comment.

The firms agreed on the deal in principle last summer, but talks have bogged down amid falling electricity prices.


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