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Centrica announces £2 billion rights issue

In a welcome change from the recent spate of recovery fund raisings Centrica has unveiled plans to acquire a 25% stake in the British Energy which was recently taken over by EDF. The much rumoured move has been on the cards for some time and will literally see Centrica totally revamp its energy supply division which will be able to offer a more thorough service to the retail operation.

Those who have kept abreast of the Centrica saga will know that the company had looked to acquire British Energy in its entirety but was effectively barred from the auction by the UK government. Many believe that the acquisition of a 25% stake in the EDF controlled operation was part of a side deal to allow the British Energy sale to go ahead. Many traditional investors were relieved that Centrica was not looking for emergency funding and had in fact come to the table with expansion ideas for the future.

It will also come as a relief to many UK consumer groups where there had been great concern that the UK energy sector was effectively controlled by and owned by an array of overseas companies. Centrica may now be in a position to expand both overseas and in the UK, thereby ensuring that UK companies have a greater say in the UK energy supply line.

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