UPDATE 1-EDF to replace Constellation board member

* Current EDF designee Daniel Camus to step down

* EDF nominates lawyer Samuel Minzberg to take his place


By Michael Erman

NEW YORK, Oct 18 (BestGrowthStock) – French power company EDF SA
(EDF.PA: ) said on Monday it will replace its representative on
Constellation Energy Group Inc’s (CEG.N: ) board, as it looks to
ratchet up pressure on Constellation in disputes that are
seriously straining their partnership.

EDF’s current representative on the board, Daniel Camus,
who was deeply involved in the original EDF deal with
Constellation, will resign effective Oct. 21, the company said
in a filing with U.S. regulators.

The French company nominated Samuel Minzberg, a partner in
the Montreal law firm of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, to
take Camus’ place. EDF said it expects Minberg to be elected at
a board meeting scheduled for Friday.

Minzberg previously served on Vivendi’s board, representing
part of the Bronfman family in 2001 and 2002, when it were
displeased with the company’s strategy and performance. He was
reportedly instrumental in the forced resignation of then-Chief
Executive Jean-Marie Messier.

EDF is looking to convince Constellation not to exercise an
option to sell EDF up to $2 billion of nonnuclear assets. The
value of the assets was fixed in 2008, as part of a deal
Constellation struck with EDF when the U.S. company was facing
serious liquidity issues.

The market value of gas and coal-fired power assets has
declined markedly since 2008, meaning the option could be quite
lucrative for Constellation.

The U.S. company has said proceeds from exercising the
option could be $1.4 billion.

The two companies are also at odds over the U.S. company’s
decision last week to unilaterally pull out of the federal loan
guarantee process for the companies to build a new nuclear
reactor at the site of Constellation’s Calvert Cliffs plant in
Maryland, which could kill the multibillion-dollar project.

In 2008, EDF agreed to buy a 49.9 percent stake in
Constellation’s operating nuclear business and also gave
Constellation the option, which expires at year-end.

The French company said the option was meant as a liquidity
backstop and was not meant to be used if Constellation’s
liquidity improved like it has.

EDF has said that it believes the option is not exercisable
under present circumstances and threatened litigation if
Constellation chose to do so.

EDF proposed over the weekend to hold an “all hands”
meeting with Constellation on Tuesday, sources familiar with
the matter told Reuters.

Constellation declined to comment on whether it would
attend. The firm also declined to comment on Minzberg’s
(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

UPDATE 1-EDF to replace Constellation board member