Concerns raised over non-US ownership of Westinghouse

14 December 2005

A senior US politician has expressed concerns that the proposed sale by BNFL of Westinghouse to a non-US controlled firm may not be in the country’s best interests.

Ralph Hall, a senior Republican on the House energy committee, voiced his concerns in a letter to Robert Kimmitt, deputy Treasury secretary saying: "I am concerned that foreign ownership of a major nuclear energy company raises national security and competitive implications in light of the fact that there are so few nuclear reactor manufacturers in existence today."

Potential buyers include General Electric, the Shaw Group, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toshiba of Japan, and South Korea’s Doosan.

The Committee of Foreign Investment in the USA, an interagency panel chaired by the Treasury Department, vets foreign takeovers of US assets such as Westinghouse.

The price for Westinghouse has reportedly risen to about $2.6 billion ahead of the 19 December deadline for offers.

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