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GDF Suez buys First Light

PARIS, September 2  – New French energy giant GDF Suez was to announce Tuesday the acquisition of US electricity producer First Light, the daily Le Figaro reported, publishing an interview with GDF Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet.

The takeover would cost 1.3 billion euros, or 835 euros per kilowatt, the paper said, adding that GDF Suez had won a contract for more than 650 million dollars for supplying energy to a number of US Defense Department sites.

First Light manages 15 power stations in the US totalling 1,500 megawatts and plans an additional 500 megawatts, Mestrallet said in the interview, adding that the acquisition would give his company a "sufficient production capacity" on the other side of the Atlantic.

GDF Suez had said Monday its first half net profit and sales rose by double digits, allowing it to confirm its forecasts for the year.

The company, formed in a government promoted merger between Gaz de France and environmental services group Suez, said net profit in the six months to June increased 14 percent to 3.4 billion euros (5.0 billion dollars) on sales of 43.1 billion euros, up 17 percent.

Operating profit was up 20 percent to 5.5 billion euros.

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