BusinessBusiness RecoveryBig Four could run power stations

Big Four could run power stations

The possibility of accountants taking over nuclear plants across the country emerged this week, as rebel shareholders moved to block a restructuring deal at British Energy they say unfairly favours bondholders, writes Brian Moher.

Link: Another lifeline for British Energy

BE said the move would force the company into administration, a development that would mean accountants taking over the controls – figuratively speaking – at its eight nuclear plants, including Dungeness.

Nick Hood, senior London partner of Begbies Traynor, said: ‘Full management responsibility moves immediately to the insolvency practitioner, who for all intents and purposes acts not only as the director but as the company itself.’ But he added there was no case for concern. ‘Independent experts and the existing management team can assist, because they know so much about business.’

The rebel shareholders need to win 75% of the vote at the egm on 22 October to block BE’s restructuring deal, but face the added problem that the company plans to de-list the day before, a move that could render the egm’s outcome mute.

It is thought only a Big Four firm would have the necessary expert contacts to handle any administration, although none has yet said it is in line for the job.

However, KPMG has long been rumoured to be helping BE to arrange its restructuring.

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