EDF shareholders have approved plans to raise €4bn (£3.4bn) through the issue of new shares to fund the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, ahead of an expected decision on the project.
Investors agreed to the package of financing at a meeting on Tuesday (26 July 2016), with the French Government, which owns about 85 per cent of the group, subscribing to €3bn in new shares as part of the deal.
“We need to boost our equity as market conditions are tough and we need to maintain the quality of our debt and our credit rating,” EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy reportedly said.
Earlier this year, EDF announced that it was to push back a final decision on investment to allow for a consultation with the union-management council.
This process was concluded earlier this month and the company has called a meeting of its board of directors tomorrow where a final investment decision is expected to be made.
However, The EDF Works Council is understood to have made a late legal challenge in an attempt to delay a decision on investment on the Somerset project.
According to Reuters, it has filed a complaint with a Paris court which will be heard on 2 August 2016 having previously raised concerns over the impact of the project on the group’s finances.
When complete, Hinkley Point C is expected to meet about 7 per cent of the UK’s total electricity needs.
The total cost of the power station is expected to be £18bn with China General Nuclear Corporation having previously agreed a deal to take a one-third stake in the plant, with EDF holding the remainder.