PARIS (Reuters) - Areva AREVA.PA said on Wednesday the French state had completed its 2 billion-euro ($2.3 billion) capital increase in the company, an important step in the restructuring of the French nuclear group.
The reorganization of the company, nearly entirely state-owned, involves the sale of Areva’s nuclear reactor business as New Areva NP to power utility EDF (EDF.PA) by the end of this year. Its uranium mining, nuclear fuel production and decommissioning activities will be transferred to a new company, NewCo.
Areva and France’s finance ministry also said the state would also inject 2.5 billion euros into NewCo by July 31, while Japan’s MHI (7011.T) and JNFL would put in capital totaling 500 million euros by the end of the month.
“These capital increases, which represent an extraordinary mobilization of resources by the state, is a key component and the last phase in the restructuring of the nuclear group, before exclusive control of New Areva NP is handed over to EDF,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a statement.
The decision in 2015 to reorganize Areva SA came after the company was hit by low demand for nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan 2011.
Le Maire said the past management of Areva had been “scandalous” but the government was regaining confidence in its leadership.
After the sale of New Areva NP to EDF and the creation of NewCo, Areva SA will be left with managing the EPR OL3 nuclear power plant construction project in Finland, a project which has been beset by a series of delays and extra costs.
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Reporting by Jean-Michel Belot; writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Greg Mahlich