French utility GDF Suez has agreed to buy the 30 per cent of British power producer International Power it does not already own for £6.8 billion ($10.8 billion), increasing its exposure to fast-growing markets around the world.
The 418 pence per share offer, at a 7 per cent premium to an earlier approach by GDF, values International Power (IPR) at about £22.8 billion ($36.2 billion) and is expected to add to the French group’s earnings.
IPR has leading positions in regions supported by steady energy demand such as South America, the Middle East, South-East Asia and Australia,” GDF said on Monday.
“The offer enables GDF Suez to take full control of a unique platform for development in fast growing countries, where the group intends to significantly increase its investments in the future,” the company added. Following completion of the offer, GDF intends to increase its guidance for capital expenditure in fast growing markets to 40 to 50 per cent of the total, up from 30 per cent currently. Analysts have said a deal would make good strategic sense for GDF given IPR’s strong growth prospects.
IPR said the offer, which will also see its shareholders getting a 6.6 euro cent dividend, was attractive, given the company’s position in international power generation markets and its growth potential.