Thursday, February 25, 2016

Areva postponed at the last moment its annual results, after a funding agreement – L’Express

Areva from an agreement with six banks lending on a bridge loan of 1.1 billion euros to ensure the liquidity of the company for the year 2016, the Board decided to defer 24 hours preparing the accounts to permit the finalization of the technical documentation relating to this financing “, the group announced in a brief statement released early in the day.

As a result, the publication of the 2015 results was postponed for 24 hours ,” added the nuclear group. Originally scheduled for Thursday before the opening of the Paris Stock Exchange, it will take place Friday morning.

Negotiations with the banks, including Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas, lasted for several weeks. But a source close to Bercy, this last minute postponement followed an intervention by the French state, which owns 86.5%, has started raising the tone in recent days to get them better conditions financing unattractive given the difficult situation of Areva.

The state stepped in to the negotiations of the conditions (funding) are more balanced and are completed for the closing of accounts ,” said this source to AFP. “ He put the pressure for the agreement to be concluded as quickly as possible, that’s why the closing of the accounts was postponed one day to allow to finalize the technical elements ” , she added.

In the wake of this announcement, the listing of Areva was suspended on Euronext Paris “ at the request of the AMF “, after closing to 3.68 euros on Wednesday night, said Euronext. Questioned by AFP, Constable markets has declined comment.

The new one-year loan will allow the group debt at 6 billion at end-June 2015 to repay 1.3 billion euros of debt this year, a significant bond maturing in September.

It gives some respite to the French former flagship of the atom, allowing it to continue its activities pending the achievement of its bailout by the state, probably in early 2017, as part of a rescue plan designed to ensure its survival.

– Heavy loss –

The capital increase will amount to 5 billion euros and minority investors are also invited to the round. “ The purpose of the state is that the recapitalization takes place as soon as possible ,” the source close to Bercy.

The second part of the rescue plans to sell at least 51% of the activity of construction and reactor services (Areva NP) to EDF on the basis of a valuation of 2.5 billion euros. Areva would retain at least 15% while a minority stake would be sold to Asian investors.

But the operation, the realization is expected in 2017, still stumbles on the EPR reactor being built in record Olkiluoto, Finland (OL3), a site that accumulates significant setbacks, which Areva-Siemens consortium and its Finnish customer TVO private blame.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, both sides are trying to find a way to amicably their dispute to arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce where they claim to billions of euros in compensation.

In the midst of restructuring, former French flagship nuclear has already warned that its accounts would record a “ strong loss ” in 2015 mainly because of new provisions on contracts reactors activities, including the construction of the EPR in Finland (OL3).

This loss would total between 1 and 1.5 billion euros, according to press reports. It will mark the fifth consecutive year the group in negative territory, after a record deficit of 4.8 billion euros in 2014.

Since its inception in 2001 with the ambition to be a champion on the whole cycle of the atom of uranium in the reactor, the nuclear group suffered heavy setbacks due to the setbacks of his Finnish EPR, the financial fiasco of the acquisition of Uramin and gloom sector nuclear since the Fukushima accident (Japan) in 2011.

once relieved of its reactors activities, the new Areva will refocus on the nuclear fuel cycle (extraction, processing and recycling of uranium) and see its size halved: it will employ about 20,000 people for a turnover of approximately EUR 4 billion.


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