January 28, 2012 / 4:50 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Key Italian shareholders OK Edison revamp

* Iren backed Edison revamp after concessions from A2A

* Italy market regulator yet to OK handing Edison to EDF (Updates with approval from Delmi, details)

By Giancarlo Navach

MILAN, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Key Italian shareholders in utility Edison on Saturday gave their final approval to a deal to reorganise the country’s second-biggest power group and hand it over to France’s electricity giant EDF after months of wrangling.

In December, EDF and Italian holding company Delmi, which together control Edison, reached a preliminary deal for EDF to win full control of Edison for 700 million euros ($919.24 million). Edison is worth $5.8 billion.

“Reorganisation of Edison has been approved by Delmi’s shareholders meeting and the board,” Delmi Chairman Franco Baiguera told reporters after the meeting.

The Edison revamp plan is now pending authorisation from Italy’s stock market regulator Consob. EDF is expected to approve the deal by the end of January.

Earlier this week the Edison revamp risked a setback after Italian regional utility Iren, which takes part in Delmi, said it was not happy with some key elements of the deal, such as proposals by its bigger partner A2A for governance at power company Edipower.

Iren said earlier on Saturday its board has backed the deal unanimously after A2A, which leads Delmi, had made some concessions.

“After a ‘no’ two days ago, all our requests have been accepted now, regarding both governance and a tolling agreement (for withdrawal of power generated at Edipower),” a source close to Iren told Reuters.

Under the deal agreed in December, EDF would effectively swap Edison’s 50 percent stake in Edipower for the Edison holding of the core Italian investors in Delmi. Integration between A2A, Iren and Edipower would create Italy’s second-biggest power producer.

Iren, which would own 21 percent of Edipower, has won on its requests for tolling at market prices and for a “qualified majority” in voting on extraordinary issues at Edipower to protect its interests, the source said.

A2A would own 56 percent of Edipower.

EDF plans to use Edison, which produces and sells electric power, natural gas and crude oil, as a platform to develop its gas business in Italy. ($1 = 0.7615 euros) (Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova and Giancarlo Navach)

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