Reports say that German utility company RWE has made a takeover offer of £11 billion for nuclear power company British Energy. The deal values the company at 700 pence per share and would be worth £4 billion to the government who own 35 per cent of British Energy.

British Energy has become a takeover target and is in need of extra financial power in order to build new nuclear power stations and clean up reactor sites. The company has been forced to close some of its plants in the face of rising costs.

Four of the company's reactors were closed at the end of last year thanks to problems with boiler closure units.

Whilst the government is in favour of building more nuclear power plants, in a bid to reduce damage to the environment, there are concerns that a foreign takeover could lead to UK job losses.

British Energy has not commented on the reports, although it did confirm on 17 March that it was in talks with another company that could lead to a takeover.