Bidders Line Up for Areva T&D

PARIS (Reuters) – Candidates are lining up to buy French nuclear group Areva’s (CEPFi.PA) T&D unit, French newspaper La Tribune said, citing four names in addition to intending bidders Alstom (ALSO.PA) and Schneider (SCHN.PA).

General Electric (GE.N) could join forces with investment funds Apollo of the United States and Europe’s CVC, but they are still discussing the details of their offer for the transmission and distribution unit, the paper said in its Friday edition.

No-one at Areva was immediately available for comment.

Two other investment funds, France’s AXA Private Equity (AXAF.PA) and Britain’s Charterhouse could also bid the T&D unit, and would be looking for an industrial partner.

Indian conglomerate Avantha Power & Infrastructure Ltd, which operates notably in energy transmission, and Chinese sovereign fun China Investment Corporation (CIC) could also be interested.

“Preliminary offers could be submitted in the first week of September. A final choice of buyer will be made by the end of this year,” La Tribune said, adding that Areva did not want to sell its subsidiary for less than 3.5 billion euros.

Engineerng groups Alstom and Schneider said last week they were planning a joint bid. (Reporting by Michel Rose, editing by Will Waterman)