Areva break-up: tribunal restrains Siemens

8 January 2010

A Paris court of arbitration provisionally restricted Siemens' actions in joining a partnership with Russia's Rosatom in November.

In a quarterly summary of legal proceedings published in early December, Siemens explained the background to the decision, but gave few details about the decision itself, or the current state of proceedings:

"In early 2009 Siemens terminated its joint venture with Areva S.A. (Areva). Thereafter, Siemens entered into negotiations with the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (Rosatom) with a view to forming a new partnership active in the construction of nuclear power plants, in which it would be a minority shareholder. In April 2009, Areva filed a request for arbitration with the ICC against Siemens." This is the International Chambers of Commerce, which runs the International Court of Arbitration in Paris. A court spokeswoman declined to comment about the case.

The Siemens statement continues: "Areva seeks an order enjoining Siemens from pursuing such negotiations with Rosatom, a declaration that Siemens is in material breach of its contractual obligations, a reduction of the price payable to Siemens for its stake in the Areva NP S.A.S. joint venture and damages in an amount to be ascertained. Siemens filed its answer in June 2009, primarily seeking a dismissal of Areva’s claims and a price increase. The arbitral tribunal has been constituted and the main proceedings have commenced. On November 17, 2009, the arbitral tribunal issued an interim order which imposes certain provisional restrictions on Siemens with respect to the negotiation process and the planned partnership with Rosatom; the order does not preclude Siemens from continuing its discussions with Rosatom during the arbitration."

An Areva spokeswoman declined to comment about the case at all; a Siemens spokesman declined to comment about the case, arguing the proceedings of the arbitration court were confidential until a final ruling is reached.

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