UK government set to sell stake in Urenco

23 April 2013

The UK government announced 22 April, that it is proceeding with plans to sell "some or all" of its one-third shareholding in the uranium enrichment company Urenco.

The decision comes after the government secured agreement from its Dutch and German partners, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said.

The Dutch government owns a third of Urenco and the German utility companies RWE and E.on jointly own the remaining third. In March, E.on also revealed an intention to sell its stake.

The "form, scale and timing of any proposed sale has not yet been determined," according to BIS, but it said that more details are expected to be available this summer.

Business and energy minister Michael Fallon said that Urenco has "strong earnings" and that it makes "good commercial sense" for the government to sell its stake now. He also noted that sale would be consistent with the UK government position that assets should be sold "where ownership itself does not deliver any policy objective."

"A sale will only be concluded if the government is satisfied that the UK's security and non-proliferation interests can be protected and that value for money is achieved for the UK taxpayer," BIS said. The UK is being advised by Morgan Stanley on the sale process.

Urenco provides uranium enrichment services across the globe through its enrichment facilities in Capenhurst (UK), Almelo (Netherlands), Gronau (Germany) and New Mexico (US).

During 2012, Urenco expanded its enrichment capacity by 15.8% to 16,900 tSW/year. It also says that it remains on track for a capacity target of 18,000 tSW/year by 2015. Urencos' revenue for 2012 stood at EUR1601 million, up 23% on 2011, and it achieved a net profit of EUR401 million in 2012, up 12% on the previous year.

Photo credit: Urenco

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