The nuclear power plant of Tricastin, located in the south-east of France, on January 25, 2017 ( AFP/Archives / PHILIPPE DESMAZES )
The japanese companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and JNFL (Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited) have announced an investment of 250 million euros each in the French group in difficulty, in exchange for 5% of the share capital of NewCo to each.
The capital of this new entity focused on the fuel cycle, “remains open to other strategic investors which are part of the same framework that the agreements being finalized,” stresses Areva in a separate press release.
This statement may be regarded as a signal sent to the chinese CNNC, with whom the negotiations are in deadlock.
Areva, which the rescue plan has been approved by Brussels, will proceed this year with capital increases for a total amount of 5 billion euros, underwritten to the tune of 4.5 billion euros by the French State, its majority shareholder.
The envelope remaining will therefore be provided by MHI and its compatriot JNFL, the latter being on the point of closing the discussion.
On the site of the EPR at Flamanville, on November 16, 2016 ( AFP/Archives / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU )
“We have yet to sign a basic agreement, but we’re almost there. We will invest 250 million euros to take up to 5%” of NewCo, said a spokesman, contacted by AFP.
“The negotiations have continued with these two strategic investors with a view to finalising the documentation,” said the French group, which is owned 86.5% by the French State (directly and indirectly).
The ex-flagship of the French nuclear fits in to the day two general meetings of shareholders in order to approve the double capital increase, a € 3 billion for NewCo, and the other 2 billion euros for Areva SA (holding company at the head of the future group).
If the operation is validated, it will not be able to take place as early as February, as expected by Areva, because Brussels has attached to its green light to this restructuring to two conditions: the approval by the european Commission of the takeover of Areva NP by EDF and the conclusion of the analyseslyses of the anomalies observed on the vessel of the EPR of Flamanville (Manche).
The group states that the increase of capital of NewCo “will be a two-time”. The State will take out first in a reserved capital increase for an amount of € 2.5 billion after the exercise of the pre-conditions set by Brussels.
Then, the investment nippon of MHI and JNFL will take place after the disposal of Areva NP, EDF.
-”Collaboration” franco-japanese long-
Areva reminds us “to collaborate for many years with MHI and JNFL”.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) ( AFP/Archives / TORU YAMANAKA )
“through this agreement, I am delighted to be able to contribute to the reorganization of the nuclear industry in France”, commented the CEO of MHI, Shunichi Miyanaga, saying that it hoped to further strengthen this partnership via the “future investments”. And bragging about “technological capabilities” of NewCo, promised to “solid growth”.
In 1991, MHI and Areva have formed a joint venture in the sector of the fuel cycle. In 2007, the two groups have launched the development of a pressurized water reactor (PWR) of average power, Atmea-1.
MHI stated to be also in negotiations to enter the capital of Areva NP, with EDF.
JNFL is also well Areva for having adopted a large part of the technologies of the French group in its reprocessing plant of nuclear fuel in Rokkasho, northern Japan, a site which is, however, still non-functioning.
another asian investor, the chinese CNNC, had taken part in the discussions in view of an entry in the tour of the table before you throw in the towel.
“The negotiations have not been successful at this stage,” said a source close to the case to the AFP, stating that the requirements of the Chinese had been found unacceptable.
France would like chinese investors and japanese have the same participation in the capital of NewCo, while Beijing wanted to be the first shareholder behind the French State, according to press information. The Chinese also required a representative on the board of directors of NewCo, a claim rejected by the State.
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