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EDF Energy sells Networks business for £5.8bn

Hong King based billionaire Li Ka-shing has bought the network (distribution) division from EDF Energy in a £5.8 billion deal, beating off rival bids from Australia’s Macquarie Bank, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Canada Pension Plan, according to reports.

The sale, which is being conducted through the Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) vehicle, should not have an impact on other parts of EDF’s business in the UK, as it only covers the electricity distribution in London, the South-East and the East of England.

The business has long term contracts to supply electricity to the London Underground, Heathrow and Gatwick airports and the Channel tunnel.

CKI already holds a stake in Hong Kong Electric and these firms will run the business jointly, as they have previously in the UK when they bought Northern Gas Networks in 2004.

EDF will retain all other assets in the UK, so the sale should have no impact upon the firm’s ambitions in the UK nuclear sector in general, or its plans for Hinckley Point in particular.