* Joining of Latam assets could create $19 bln generator
* GDF Suez focusing on power plants outside Europe
(Adds GDF no comment)
SAO PAULO, June 28 (Reuters) - France’s GDF Suez is in talks to buy control of the Latin American assets of U.S.-based utility Duke Energy , the Valor Economico newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Plans under consideration include the outright sale of Duke assets to GDF Suez or the pooling of the two companies’ Latin American operations in a company that would be 60 percent to 70 percent owned by GDF Suez, the newspaper reported, citing sources close to the deal.
Duke has agreed to negotiate the sale exclusively with GDF Suez and may retain a minority stake in its Latin American operations, Valor reported.
Together, the Latin American assets of the two companies could create a power generator worth an estimated 30 billion reais ($18.8 billion), the newspaper said.
It has not been decided if assets of Tractebel , a GDF Suez subsidiary, will be part of the agreement, Valor said.
However, all of Duke’s Latin America assets are part of the agreement, the newspaper reported.
No one at Duke was immediately available to comment, while GDF Suez declined to comment.
“We do not comment on market rumours,” said a spokesman at GDF Suez, the world’s biggest utility by market value.
GDF Suez is now focusing on its more profitable — and more risky and less regulated — power plants, in particular outside Europe. (Reporting by Luciana Lopez and Jeb Blount; Additional reporting by Marie Maitre in Paris; Editing by Dave Zimmerman and David Holmes) ($1=1.594 reais)