UPDATE 2-GDF looks to energy services, not big takeovers, for growth

Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:26am EST
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* GDF CEO says demand for energy services grows 2.5 pct/yr

* Growth comes despite weak economy, falling power demand

* Cofely European and global leader in fragmented sector

* GDF denies plans for a major acquisition, stock recovers

By Geert De Clercq

PARIS, Jan 21 (Reuters) - GDF Suez can achieve most of its planned growth without resorting to acquisitions, its chief executive said on Tuesday, after banking and industry sources said Talisman Energy had rebuffed a takeover approach by the French utility.

The sources said on Monday that GDF was still seeking acquisitions of up to $20 billion outside Europe and had looked into buying companies including U.S. utility AES Corp after being rejected by Canadian oil and gas producer Talisman.

CEO Gerard Mestrallet denied any such plans on Tuesday and insisted on the strong organic growth prospects of the gas and power utility's existing businesses, notably its energy services provider Cofely.

GDF is playing down the prospect of game-changing, multi-billion-dollar tie-ups for now. Cofely said last month it wanted to buy several smaller peers with combined revenue of 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to drive home its advantage as Europe's biggest provider of energy services for buildings.   Continued...