UPDATE 1-EDF not seeking to sell power grid RTE -CFO

Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:32am EST

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PARIS Nov 22 (Reuters) - Electricite de France is not seeking a sale of power grid unit RTE, the utility's Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal said on Friday.

"Could our stake evolve? This is not something we're seeking, it is up to RTE to define its strategy," Piquemal told reporters on the sidelines of a shareholder meeting in Paris.

"(RTE) is a financial investment for us," he added.

Sources had told Reuters in September that EDF was sounding out bankers about a partial sale of RTE, a prize asset whose 100,000 km high-voltage network is Europe's biggest.

Piquemal told Reuters at the time that EDF was not under pressure to sell any assets and would continue to support RTE's development.

RTE, which has an enterprise value of 12 billion euros, including 6.9 billion in debt at the end of 2012, is 100 percent owned by EDF, but is fully autonomous in terms of governance, investments and strategy, in line with European Union regulation.

France is one of the few European countries not to have unbundled its grid operator from its utility company owner. In Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy and most other European Union countries, utilities no longer own the grids.

EDF is 84.4 percent state owned and any operation involving RTE would have to be cleared by the government, which said in March it had no plans to let RTE open its capital to other investors. (Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, writing by Natalie Huet and Geert De Clercq. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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