The Government welcomed EDF's proposed £12.5 billion takeover offer for British energy
Group and the British energy
Board's recommendation of the offer to its shareholders.
The Government has committed to accept the cash offer of 774p per share for its 36% stake held by the Nuclear Liabilities Fund (NLF), subject to certain conditions.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "New nuclear is becoming a reality. This deal is good value for the taxpayer and a significant step towards the construction of a new generation of nuclear stations to power
the country. Nuclear is clean, secure and affordable; its expansion is crucial for Britain's long term energy security
, as we reduce our oil dependence and move towards a low carbon future."
Business Secretary John Hutton said: "Nuclear has the clear potential to play a central role in giving our country a diverse energy
mix. It will be indispensable for our long term energy security
"Our ambition is to have more than one nuclear operator and so to accelerate the building of new nuclear power
stations. There are strong signals of an appetite for this from the power
industry and today's announcements mean a number of sites could be made available for others to play a part."
A spokesperson for EDF energy
said: "We are delighted that the British energy
Board is unanimously recommending our offer to its shareholders. EDF and British energy
complement each other perfectly and this is an exciting announcement for us both. For EDF, this is a historic milestone in our strategic development plans in Europe and enables the EDF Group to develop significantly in the UK, one of its key markets. For British energy
, it places it at the vanguard of New Nuclear Build in the UK and at the centre of the global nuclear renaissance.
"There is a great fit between our two companies. Combining the people, knowledge, skills, experience and assets of EDF and British energy
will set the standard for the delivery of safe, economic, low carbon generation both in Britain and around the world. We look forward to welcoming British energy
's management and employees into the Enlarged Group."