Oil giants Shell and BP Amoco have emerged as possible buyers of National Power, the UK’s largest electricity generator.
Neither would comment on market speculation, but both are looking to become more involved in power generation as an extension of their expanding gas businesses.
Shell is a partner with US company Bechtel in the power plant developer Intergen, while BP Amoco’s new gas/power business unit started operating last month.
National Power is expected to announce the results of a strategic review at the end of this month. The review followed the resignation of chief executive Keith Henry earlier this year.
The options under consideration are thought to include splitting the company’s UK and international operations into separate organisations and a share buyback, both of which are likely to prompt takeover attempts. US utilities are also likely to bid.