Local Briefing

Friday, December 5, 2008

ENERGY

EDF Was 'Approached' for Bid

Electricite de France, the world's biggest operator of nuclear reactors, said it was "approached" by Constellation Energy Group shareholders who were unhappy with a bid from billionaire Warren Buffett.

EDF, which owns 9.5 percent of Baltimore-based Constellation, offered Wednesday to pay $4.5 billion for half of the U.S. utility's nuclear business.

The French company wants to gain generating capacity in North America and defeat a rival bid from Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings, which agreed Sept. 18 to buy all of Constellation for $4.7 billion, amid investor concern the financial crisis could wreck its energy-trading business.

EDF's offer would force Constellation to invest in nuclear power, which would mean less free cash flow, while MidAmerican's bid "should probably deliver a more stable dividend trend," Peter Wirtz, analyst at WestLB in Dusseldorf, Germany, said in a report.

HIRINGS

Va. Company to Hire 480 in Pa.

Sterling-based NEW Customer Service plans to hire 480 people to work at a customer service call center in Altoona, Pa.

NEW provides extended-service and buyer-protection plans for consumer products.

The center is expected to open in late spring and will be home to a customer care team responsible for calls from retail customers.

ENTERTAINMENT

Six Flags Expands to Qatar

Theme park operator Six Flags said it is expanding further into the Middle East after reaching a deal with Qatar-based diversified company Oryx Holdings to open a Six Flags theme park in the tiny Gulf nation by mid-year 2012.

Six Flags agreed to provide Oryx Holdings with concept development and planning services to create a Six Flags park within Qatar Entertainment City, a mixed-use entertainment development.

Six Flags and Oryx will then collaborate on the design, development, construction and management of the park. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.


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