LONDON Dec 18 (Reuters) - Britain's Centrica said it would sell its Texas gas-fired power stations to Blackstone for $685 million in cash and return the proceeds to investors by extending its share buyback programme.
The three units, located in Paris, Bastrop, and Mission, have a combined capacity of 1,295MW, Centrica said, and as part of the deal it agreed a three-year call option arrangement for an equivalent amount of capacity with Blackstone.
"This transaction allows us to realise value from our gas-fired fleet, while ensuring stability of price and supply in the Texas power market through the call option arrangement," Badar Khan, President and CEO of Centrica's North American subsidiary Direct Energy, said on Wednesday.
Centrica said it would return the proceeds from the sale to shareholders through a 420 million pound ($682 million) extension of its share repurchase programme in 2014.
Shares in Centrica were trading up 1.6 percent at 328.4 pence at 0929 GMT, outperforming a 0.3 percent rise in the FTSE 100 index.