British Energy prepared for ownership fight

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Nuclear power firm British Energy is set to renew a battle with one of its major creditors over the future ownerships of one of its power stations.

Credit Suisse recently led a bondholders' group in a court action over the rights to transfer an option to buy British Energy's only coal-fired unit, the Eggborough plant in Yorkshire. British Energy won the case, but an appeal against the decision is due to be heard after the summer recess, the Sunday Herald reports.

"The court action is important, but it's not a deal-breaker and it's highly likely an offer will be made for the plant whatever the outcome," the newspaper quotes a "source close to the Swiss" as saying.

"The main effect of a transfer of options into one company would be to streamline the management process, but Credit Suisse owns some 90 per cent of the bonds and can press on regardless.

"All that has been achieved by British Energy's court action is a delay in the inevitable while creating extra costs and souring relations."

Five years ago British Energy creditors agreed to swap debts for bonds worth £134 million and the right to buy the Eggborough plant for a cut-price £187 million in 2010.

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