BRUSSELS May 22 Belgium's power grid operator
Elia would consider buying stakes in Dutch grid firm
TenneT and French operator RTE, owned by state-controlled
electricity company EDF, a spokeswoman said on
"They are really in same market zone as Elia, since they are
neighbouring countries this makes it interesting indeed, and
apparently there might be some opportunities," the spokeswoman
The Dutch state is considering the sale of part of TenneT in
an initial public offering to raise 500 million euros ($644
million) for investments in the domestic grid, the head of the
TenneT said in March.
Belgian business paper L'Echo said the French government
wants state-controlled EDF to sell its subsidiary RTE,
the French grid operator. EDF was not immediately available for
Elia's chief executive Jacques Vandermeiren told newspapers
L'Echo and De Tijd in articles published on Wednesday that he
would be interested in taking stakes in the two neighbouring
grid operators as long as certain conditions were met.
"The operation needs to happen, the price must be right, we
need to get a big enough stake and our shareholders must find
that it's an opportune deal," the papers quote Vandermeiren as
Elia bought part of German Transmission System Operator
50Hertz Transmission from Sweden-based state-owned energy group
Vattenfall in 2010.
Elia's shareholder equity was just over 2 billion euros at
the end of 2012, while its net debt was 2.9 billion euros.
The company has a 3 billion euro Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN)
($1 = 0.7769 euros)
(Wrtiting by Ben Deighton; Additional reporting by Geert De
Clerq in Paris; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Mark Potter)