April 26, 2018 / 9:58 AM / a year ago

Engie looked at buying Direct Energie but decided against it: CEO Kocher

Isabelle Kocher, Chief Executive Officer of Engie, attends a news conference in Paris, France January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Engie (ENGIE.PA) CEO Isabelle Kocher said the utility had considered buying independent power retailer Direct Energie DIREN.PA but decided against it.

“We knew they were going to sell at some point ... but we did not need to buy an entry ticket into the French power market, we are already there,” she said.

French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) bought Direct Energie last week in a deal that will make it a major challenger to market leader EDF (EDF.PA).

She also said that the company has no plans to split up in the manner of Germany utilities E.ON and RWE.

“We do not feel market pressure for an operation of that kind,” she told reporters.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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