Centrica wants protection from predators - paper

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The chairman of British utility Centrica CNA.L, Roger Carr, is urging the government to consider protection for the owner of British Gas from foreign predators, The Mail on Sunday newspaper said.

Carr is also chairman of Cadbury CBRY.L, which last week agreed to be taken over by U.S. firm Kraft Foods KFT.N in a 11.7 billion pounds deal. [ID:nL9294700]

The newspaper cited Carr as saying: “I’m going to tell them (the government) that if they don’t decide that this (Centrica) is a strategic asset then there is the possibility of the company being vulnerable.”

It said Carr gave no indication he believed Centrica was under immediate threat but suggested other companies, including National Grid NG.L, might also be protected by the government to stop them from falling into "inappropriate" hands.

Market rumours last year suggested Centrica was being eyed by Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM. (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Greg Mahlich)