October 2, 2008 / 4:53 AM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-EDF nears KKR deal in Constellation push - FT

(Adds MidAmerican comment on merger in paragraph 6)

Oct 2 (Reuters) - EDF (EDF.PA) is close to a deal with private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co [KKR.UL] that it hopes could trump Warren Buffett’s agreed take-over of Constellation Energy Group Inc CEG.N, the Financial Times reported late Wednesday.

EDF Chief Executive Pierre Gadonneix, will meet KKR executives in the United States this week to finalise details of a new assault on the Constellation, the paper said.

The French electricity group is hoping to convene a board meeting in the next two weeks to approve a revived approach with KKR, according to the paper.

EDF’s advisers are working out the structure of any bid vehicle in order to comply with U.S. regulations, which bar majority foreign ownership of nuclear assets, the paper said.

Last month, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co, a unit of billionaire businessman Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) agreed to buy Constellation Energy for about $4.7 billion, amid fears that the Baltimore-based company could face a credit rating downgrade and liquidity crisis.

MidAmerican said early on Thursday it had waived the related termination right under the merger agreement, after completing its 14-day due diligence of Constellation Energy’s retail and wholesale businesses.

EDF and KKR could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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