UPDATE 1-GDF Suez CEO says no plans for major acquisition

Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:57am EST

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PARIS Jan 21 (Reuters) - GDF Suez, which banking and industrial sources said was seeking acquisitions of up to $20 billion, has no plans for a major takeover and will grow mainly by itself, the French utility's chief executive said on Tuesday.

The sources told Reuters that GDF had takeover approaches for Canada-based Talisman Energy rebuffed late last year and that its advisers had reviewed a number of sizeable possible acquisitions including U.S. utility AES Corp.

"We have no plans for a major acquisition," CEO Gerard Mestrallet told journalists in Paris. "I formally deny that we have made a bid for the 'T' company, as mentioned in the press."

Buying Talisman in a $17 billion deal including debt would have propelled GDF into upstream operations and strengthened its presence in fast-growing parts of South America and Asia. Yet the two sides struggled to agree on terms, and GDF's latest attempt with a written offer for part of Talisman in early December was rejected by the latter's board, the sources said.

One of the sources told Reuters that GDF had offered a "low-ball price" with a "very small chance" of being accepted. The two sides had not been in contact since.

Mestrallet also said on Tuesday that GDF had no plans to list shares in its Cofely energy services unit on the stock market.

"We are not at all considering an IPO (initial public offering) for that activity, which is an enormous asset for our group," he said.

Mestrallet said Cofely had total sales of about 16 billion euros ($21.7 billion). GDF Suez had 97 billion euros of revenue in 2012.

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