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Rejected French suitor for CEG mulls new bid

The Baltimore Sun

Electricite de France chief executive Pierre Gadonneix said yesterday that the company may make a new takeover offer for Constellation Energy Group with buyout firm KKR & Co. and others.

EDF objects to Baltimore-based Constellation's $4.7 billion sale to Warren E. Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings. Its previous offer of $6.2 billion was rejected by Constellation. EDF is Constellation's largest shareholder with a 9.5 percent stake.

EDF plans to win licenses to operate new-generation U.S. reactors through an alliance with Constellation. Falling stock markets and tightening credit are unlikely to prevent EDF's effort, Gadonneix told Bloomberg News in Paris.

"We are in talks with a number of industrial and financial partners, in particular KKR," Gadonneix said. "Among the partners, some are proposing a counteroffer, but this isn't the only scenario."

He added: "I want a partnership in the U.S. and I won't rule out any option. ..."

A Constellation spokesman declined to comment last night.

Also yesterday, the Maryland Public Service Commission issued two requests for proposals, seeking outside consultants to help the agency evaluate the Constellation-MidAmerican deal.

Constellation and EDF have a joint venture to build nuclear reactors in the United States. That UniStar division said yesterday that Areva SA, the world's largest reactor maker, and U.S. construction company Bechtel won a design contract for a proposed nuclear reactor project at Calvert Cliffs in Southern Maryland. No financial details were provided.

Bloomberg News and Baltimore Sun reporter Hanah Cho contributed to this article.

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