Goodbye USEC, hello Centrus

1 October 2014

The successor to USEC has emerged from bankruptcy protection with a new name: Centrus Energy Corp (New York Stock Exchange ticker name: LEU).

It went into restructuring in March 2014 after difficulty finding investors to back construction of its $4 billion American Centrifuge uranium enrichment plant.

"With this restructuring, we have accomplished a great deal," said John Welch, president and chief executive officer of Centrus. "We have dramatically improved our capital structure by replacing $530 million in debt due this October and $114 million in preferred stock with new debt and new common stock..." Under the Plan of Reorganization, Centrus issued nine million shares of new common stock and new debt totaling $240.4 million that matures in five years.

Welch continued: "Looking ahead, we will continue as a reliable supplier to our customers with an improved financial foundation. We strongly believe in the future value that the American Centrifuge technology can provide for domestic uranium enrichment and will build on the innovation of our employees, America's leading experts on uranium enrichment, to support the national security objectives of the United States Government."

The company did also say on its website that although it has been working to position itself financially as a 'stronger sponsor' of the American Centrifuge project, "current enrichment market conditions do not support a viable business plan for obtaining the capital needed for the commercialization."

USEC/Centrus was the US arm that managed the megatonnes to megawatts programme that finished last year. It does have a wholesale contract with Russia's TVEL to deliver 21.5 million SWU of Russian enrichment services from 2013-2022.

A new board of directors consisting of up to 11 directors will provide governance and strategic direction for Centrus. Five members of the previous USEC Inc. board, including one member appointed by Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation, and five newly appointed directors under the Plan approved by the bankruptcy court will comprise the new board. One seat on the board remains vacant, which may be filled by a person appointed by The Babcock & Wilcox Company.


Picture: The last megatonnes-to-megawatts shipment



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