Power firm seals deal with EDF to pay £2.3bn to acquire stake in British Energy

UK power company Centrica has sealed a deal to buy a 20% stake in nuclear firm British Energy for £2.3bn.

The long-awaited agreement with British Energy's owner, EDF, will put Centrica at the heart of the country's nuclear new-build programme.

British Energy runs eight UK power plants, including Torness, Hartlepool and Sizewell B, and EDF plans to build four new plants on existing sites, with the first due to be up and running by the end of 2017.

Nuclear plant
British Energy runs eight UK nuclear plants, with plans to build four more

In a statement, Centrica said: “The deal should be positive for both customers and investors – it lowers our exposure to energy price volatility.”

EDF first agreed to sell Centrica a stake in British Energy when it agreed the terms for its takeover of the UK nuclear operator last year. But the deal was hampered by a severe drop in electricity prices.