Tepco sells stake in wind development company prior to privatisation

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Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) is selling its 5.1% stake in Japanese wind developer Electric Power Development Company (EPDC) to prevent any conflict of interest when the state-run electricity company is privatised later this year. The shares may be worth as much as JPY 17 billion, or $158 million, based on a JPY 333 billion valuation of EPDC by the government. The stake in Tepco is being sold as part of a $2.6 billion share sale being arranged by Nomura Holdings and UBS on behalf of the utility. It will be the largest initial public offering by the Japanese government in more than six years. EPDC has four operational wind farms totalling 78.5 MW in Japan and a further three, totaling 64 MW, in Spain. Another four wind plant, with a combined capacity of 66 MW, are under construction in Japan. The company is set to become a supplier in Japan's wholesale power market, to be operational in 2005, when it will have to compete with other utilities including Tepco. Other state utilities also own stakes in EPDC, but they have not yet announced the sale of their shares.

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