Abu Dhabi in race for £5bn EDF network

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is reported to have joined one of Canada’s largest pension funds to submit a bid for EDF’s UK electricity network. Goldman Sachs and advisory firm Lexicon Partners have reportedly been appointed to advise the consortium on their bid.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Gulf emirate’s investment arm, is said to have teamed up with the Canadian Pension Plan to submit a joint bid for EDF’s UK electricity network, according to several media reports.

EDF: £5bn
for UK grid

Goldman Sachs and advisory firm Lexicon Partners have reportedly been appointed to advise the consortium on their bid for EDF’s transmission network, thought to be worth £5 billion (€5.6 billion; $8.1 billion). Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank are advising French state-owned EDF on the sale of its UK electricity assets, which distribute power to almost eight million homes in the south-east and east of England.

Several other bidders have shown interest in the sale, including a consortium of Scottish and Southern Energy and Borealis, another Canadian pension. Macquarie is said to be interested in bidding while Cheung Kong Infrastructure, the fund owned by Asia’s wealthiest man, Li Ka-shing, is said to have hired Royal Bank of Scotland to advise on the deal. National Grid is thought to be another contender for EDF’s assets and is believed to have hired Morgan Stanley to provide advisory services.

EDF started the sale of its UK assets last October with the aim of cutting €5 billion in net debt by the end of 2010. A spokesperson from the company did not wish to comment on when initial bids are expected or if they have already been received.