SSE seeks a partner to bid for EDF's UK assets

SCOTTISH &amp; SOUTHERN ENERGY is in talks with potential partners, including Canada&rsquo;s Borealis, over a bid for French rival EDF&rsquo;s electricity distribution grids in the UK, valued at &pound;4bn.<br /><br />&ldquo;Given the size of the assets, we are almost certainly going to do that transaction in partnership with someone we already have a business relationship with,&rdquo; SSE chief executive Ian Marchant said, as the group announced first-half results. <br /><br />He also said he would be surprised if SSE didn&rsquo;t team up with Borealis for a bid, but that no formal consortium had yet been put together.<br /><br />Marchant added the deal could be one of the biggest cash M&amp;A deals in the UK next year, but it would only happen if &ldquo;it makes sense&rdquo;. SSE would likely raise cash via a placing for any transaction, he added. <br /><br />He estimated the possible amount to be raised at about &pound;750m.<br /><br />EDF has sent out a &ldquo;teaser&rdquo; to potential bidders previewing the sale of its three UK distributor networks.<br /><br />Pre-tax profit at SSE for the six months to September rose 35.7 per cent &pound;410.5m, up from &pound;302.6m in the same period last year.