French EDF Wind-Power IPO Zooms

Strong showing indicates that big players are counting on renewable energy.

Shares in a French wind-power company were launched on Nov. 29 and gained 19% in the first hour of trading, driven by "enormous" investor interest, dealers said. The company being floated was EDF EN, an offshoot of the French electricity group Electricite de France (EDF), the biggest generator of nuclear power in the world. The shares were launched at 28.0 euros each and soon shot up to 33.32 euros, showing a gain of 1% and valuing the business at 2.0 billion euros (US$2.64 billion) or six times sales.

EDF EN generates 7% of its business in the sector of wind power, which is growing strongly.

One stock trader at an independent broker commented: "The wind-power sector is very promising as is shown by the fact that big players are counting firmly on renewable energy."

Wind-driven generators in France will produce 1,500 megawatts at the end of this year from 757 MW at the end of last year, the head of the French agency for the environment and conservation of energy (Ademe), Michele Pappalardo said. This year would be the second year in a row in which French wind-generating capacity has doubled.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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