Brussels is expected to approve the takeover by French state-controlled utility EDF of the reactor business of Areva this week, clearing the path for a state-backed rescue deal that will reshape France’s nuclear industry. Brussels antitrust watchdog is likely to sign off the deal on Monday, according to two people familiar with the situation, a green light that is needed before the French state can carry out the wider restructuring of Areva. Once Areva’s reactor business is acquired by EDF, what is left of Areva, mostly a uranium mining and nuclear fuel business, will then need only a sign-off of its new reactor in Flamanville in France to unlock a €5bn state-backed capital increase scheduled for later this year. EDF has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Areva NP, which designs, manufactures and services nuclear reactors, in a deal valuing the business at about €2.5bn. The deal will unite two of the companies responsible for building the UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, the country’s first new atomic power station for a generation, in a move executives say should help to avoid the kind of costly delays that have beset similar projects. Nuclear power producer TVO, which owns the Finnish project, is concerned that after the EDF takeover, Areva might neglect Olkiluoto in favour of the EDF-led projects in Flamanville and Hinkley Point. The Finnish company is also facing the awkward balancing act of co-operating with Areva to finish the project while simultaneously pursuing the French company and its former partner, Siemens, for billions of euros in compensation for the delays.
FT 28th May 2017 read more »
The European Commission will decide whether to approve a deal that would see electricity giant EDF acquire a controlling interest in part of Areva, a company that designs and manufactures nuclear reactors. Both firms are majority-owned by the French government. The European Commission’s competition watchdog is concerned that the deal might impact pricing and innovation—particularly if an EDF-owned Areva decides to stop selling its highly complex and difficult to replicate parts to external companies. By merging EDF with Areva’s nuclear reactor business, France’s government is hoping to create a more potent nuclear energy exporter. EDF and Areva are both responsible for constructing the UK’s $24 billion Hinkley Point C plant. The merger is expected to increase the competitiveness of EDF’s nuclear reactor business, helping it fend off competition from Russian and Japanese exporters.
Foreign Brief 29th May 2017 read more »