Electricite de France (EDF) has bought Areva NP's nuclear reactor operations (New NP) division from Areva SA, following the signature of definitive binding agreements on 22nd December.
The sale price for 100% of New NP's equity was confirmed at €2.5bn ($3bn). EDF agreed in 2015 to take a stake of 51-75% in Areva SA's reactor unit in a government-backed plan to support the nuclear power industry. The government granted a capital injection of €4.5bn into Areva.
The reactor operations have been transferred to a subsidiary wholly owned by Areva NP, referred to as 'New NP'. Not included in the sale are contracts for the Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) EPR project in Finland and for resources required to complete that project, as well as some contracts relating to components forged in the Le Creusot plant. These will remain within Areva.
EDF Chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said: "The signing of these definitive agreements marks the culmination of more than two years of work to implement the refounding of the French nuclear industry, with EDF at the head."
"The integration of New NP within the EDF group starting on 1 January 2018 will help our industry increase in performance and efficiency in the implementation of major projects such as the Grand Carénage [life extension programme], and become more competitive in the construction of new nuclear power plants as many countries recognise the key role of nuclear energy in the transition towards low-carbon power generation," Lévy added.
Under the agreements, EDF acquired 75.5% of New NP's capital for €2.47bn, with no transfer of financial debt. That amount is eight times the business's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
In May 2017, French nuclear engineering company Assystem made an offer of €125m for a 5% stake in New NP. In July, Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) formally decided to take a 19.5% stake in New NP. The acquisition of stakes in New NP by MHI and Assystem should have occurred simultaneously with the transaction between EDF and Areva SA" Areva and EDF said.