Li Ka-shing planning bid for stake in National Grid gas unit - FT

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing smiles during a news conference announcing CK Hutchison Holdings company results in Hong Kong, China March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

(Reuters) - Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing is preparing to bid for a majority stake in British electricity grid operator National Grid Plc's NG.L gas distribution unit, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing people close to the talks.

Li's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd 1038.HK is leading a group of investors that will likely submit an initial offer by the end of the week, the newspaper reported.

The sale is expected to value the business at 11 billion pounds, including debt, the FT said. (

National Grid said last year that it would sell a majority stake in the business.

National Grid declined to comment on the report and Cheung Kong Infrastructure could not be reached.

Reporting by Mamidipudi Soumithri in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr