Energy supplier EDF has announced that it is evaluating ownership options for its electricity distribution business in the UK.

The development follows an announcement by the group in February that it was planning to implement actions to reduce its financial debt by at least €5bn (£4.6bn) by the end of 2010.

EDF is currently the largest electricity distribution network in the UK. Last year, it acquired British Energy resulting in a better balance between its energy generation and supply portfolios.

Pierre Gadonneix, chairman and chief executive at EDF, said: 'The process to evaluate ownership options for our UK electricity distribution networks is part of the announced asset divestment programme, aiming to reduce our net financial debt by at least €5bn.

'It is also part of our development strategy in the UK, which is a key market in Europe for the group. This process follows British Energy's acquisition, which facilitates EDF's plans to develop new nuclear power in the UK and significantly strengthens our position as a UK energy player.'

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive at EDF Energy, added: ‘EDF Energy will continue the dialogue with its employees and other key stakeholders throughout this evaluation process. This unique combination of three regulated networks covers a key region vital to the UK economy. It has a highly experienced and skilled workforce, which has a strong track record of delivery and is well placed for growth.'