GDF Suez SA, a France-based natural gas and electricity supplier, has established an alliance with China Investment Corp, the nation's sovereign wealth fund, to facilitate its business in Asia Pacific, a GDF Suez director told Reuters.

CIC will pay $3.2 billion for a 30% stake in GDF Suez's exploration and manufacturing division, and the deal will be finalized within days, the director said, asking for anonymity. "GDF Suez will be financially and commercially better off."

Under the terms, CIC will offer assistance in financing for GDF Suez to expand in Asia and help it win contracts from China. This is China's latest move to increase its influence in a western energy company, market watchers say.

GDF Suez's exploration and manufacturing business that supplies natural gas to Algeria, the Netherlands, Norway and Russia is a minor department. GDF Suez produced 50 million barrels of oil equivalent and posted €85 billion in revenues last year.

GDF Suez declined to comment on its partnership with CIC.

China has been hunting for energy sources across the globe to fuel its economic growth. Last month CNOOC Ltd (NYSE: CEO, HKG: 0883), China's biggest offshore oil producer, agreed to acquire Opti Canada Inc, while PetroChina Co's (NYSE: PTR, SHA: 601857, HKG: 0857) $5.6 billion takeover bid for EnCana Corp collapsed.


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