11 Jan (NucNet): EU anti-trust regulators have cleared the French government’s restructuring of state-owned nuclear reactor builder Areva.
The European Commission said in a statement on 10 January 2017 that it had concluded that French plans to grant a capital injection of €4.5bn ($4.75bn) to Areva are in line with EU state aid rules.
The Commission added that other regulatory decisions were still needed, including approval by the EU of the buyout of Areva’s reactor business by EDF, the French state-owned electricity supplier.
In April 2016, France notified the Commission of a restructuring plan to restore its competitiveness. The plan provides for various divestments, in particular the group’s nuclear reactor business. Areva, which is 86.5% owned by the French state, will instead focus its activities on the nuclear fuel cycle.
France plans to help Areva bear the cost of restructuring by injecting public capital of €4.5bn.
In September 2016, Areva began the transfer of its nuclear fuel cycle activities to a new company, NewCo.
Areva, which has made losses for the last five financial years, announced thea restructuring plan in June 2016.
The restructuring will see the company split into three smaller companies and raise about €8bn in additional capital.
Areva said in a statement that it would convene its board of directors on 11 January 2017 to determine the terms of the capital increase, which is subject to the approval of a general shareholders meeting on 3 February 2017.