GDF Suez to buy U.S. electricity firm for $1.9 billion

PARIS Tue Sep 2, 2008 3:25am EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - French utility group GDF Suez said on Tuesday it would buy U.S. electricity provider FirstLight Power Enterprises.

GDF gave no financial details in a statement, but according to industry sources quoted by Le Figaro newspaper the deal would be worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.91 billion).

In an interview published in Le Figaro on Tuesday, GDF Suez Chairman Gerard Mestrallet said the deal would make GDF Suez the third-largest supplier of electricity to businesses in the United States.

FirstLight owns 15 power generation plants and a natural gas facility under construction with a combined capacity of 1,538 megawatts in New England in the United States.

"FirstLight will complement GDF Suez' LNG and gas business in North America and will strengthen the group's existing power generating assets and retail activities in New England and eastern Canada," Dirk Beeuwsaert, chief executive of GDF Suez Energy International, said in the statement.

(Reporting by Vanessa Walters; Editing by Sue Thomas/Louise Ireland)

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