French utility EDF is in negotiations to acquire a minority stake in Russian electricity importer and exporter Inter RAO UES, Thomson Financial quotes daily newspaper Kommersant as saying.

The report cited sources close to the situation as saying that, although the exact percentage of the acquisition was still not clear, EDF would acquire at least a 25% stake in Inter RAO. The newspaper even quoted analyst estimates of $500 million to $875 million for a 25% stake of the company.

The newspaper also cited Sergey Ivanov, deputy general director for strategy and investment at Inter RAO, as saying that foreign investors were interested in the company. He also said that joint projects could be set up.

Although Mr Ivanov referred to EDF as a potential party the company would be interesting in working with, he did not divulge whether the two companies were actually in negotiations, Kommersant reported.