EDF fined millions for disseminating misleading information about U.K. nuclear project

August 5, 2020, 3:21PMNuclear News

The Enforcement Committee of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has imposed a fine of €5 million (about $5.9 million) on Électricitéde France for providing false information about the Hinkley Point C new-build nuclear project in the United Kingdom. The committee has also imposed a €50,000 (about $59,000) fine on EDF’s former chairman and chief executive officer, Henri Proglio. According to a July 30 statement from the AMF, the false information was spread via an October 8, 2014, news release.

The AMF is described on its website as an independent public authority that regulates the French financial marketplace and its participants.

Details: On October 21, 2013, some five years after acquiring British Energy (now EDF Energy), the French utility announced that it had entered into an agreement with the U.K. government on the key commercial terms of contracts relating to the proposed Hinkley Point C project, including that the project would receive a financing guarantee from the U.K. government, with terms and conditions to be defined.

Then, in an October 8, 2014, news release announcing the European Commission’s approval of the agreement, EDF said, “The main elements of the agreements of October 2013 remained unchanged.” That language, the Enforcement Committee determined, was misleading, since there had in fact been substantial changes made to the U.K. guarantee. “EDF had disseminated false information likely to set the share price at an abnormal or artificial level,” the AMF said in its statement.

A separate accusation by the AMF regarding the alleged failure in 2015 of EDF and its current CEO, Jean-Bernard Lévy, to promptly disclose “inside information” related to Hinkley Point C was dismissed.

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