PARIS, Aug 23 (Reuters) - ** U.S. private equity giant KKR & Co LP is considering selling two French gas-fired power plants and has mandated a financial firm to study options for the plants, financial daily Les Echos reported.
** KKR bought the Toul and Pont-sur-Sambre plants in 2014 from Australian utility Verbund. Les Echos quotes Antonio Haya, CEO of the company that operates the plants, as saying that "we are looking at whether the market has an appetite (for these plants)." He said an alternative option would be to raise some 100 million euros of debt for the plants, which was not possible at the time of purchase because of the plants' difficult financial situation back then.
** The two plants with combined capacity of 825 megawatts last year had core earnings of about 10 million euros and the outlook is for better profits this year.
** The plants, which are mainly used to cover consumption peaks in winter, have benefited from France's new capacity market which rewards back-up power, as well as from long outages of EDF's nuclear reactors in the past year.
Note: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouch for its accuracy (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; editing by John Irish)