'Electricity and gas supplier in takeover talks'

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Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) is rumoured to be in takeover talks with state-owned Swedish energy provider Vattenfall.

SSE, which is the second biggest supplier in the UK, has been dogged by speculation linking the two groups for many years but the talks are supposed to be at an early stage, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Vattenfall is bidding for Nuon, a Dutch energy firm, and the talks with SSE are purportedly a back up if the merger falls through.

However, an SSE spokesperson declined to comment on the rumours.

Last week, SSE reduced its retail electricity prices by nine per cent and its household gas prices by four per cent.

It was the second UK energy supplier to slash its prices this year – the first being British Gas which knocked ten per cent off its tariffs.

Commenting on the move, utilities manager for Moneysupermarket.com Scott Byrom said: "SSE has undercut British Gas in the energy price war stakes."

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