Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Fylde nuclear fuel plant gets new owner in $4.6bn deal

Fylde nuclear fuel plant gets new owner in $4.6bn deal

Brookfield Business Partners LP and its partners will buy Westinghouse Electric Co. from Toshiba Corp.in a US$4.6 billion deal announced Thursday.

The effect of the deal on the Westinghouse business in the United Kingdom is yet to become clear but Brookfield has a track record of investing in and developing "long-life, high quality assets".

Brookfield said the deal will be funded by a mix of equity and long-term debt.

Since filing for bankruptcy, Westinghouse said it planned to get out of the business of building new reactors and would, instead, focus on servicing them, including decommissioning work.

Representatives for Blackstone and Apollo weren't immediately available for comment.

The Japanese company later announced in November that it was exploring alternatives to sell the US -based company.

Despite the nuclear fallout, Canadian investment giant Brookfield said the "iconic American company" is a "high quality business" which generates most of its profitability through long-term service contracts.

The company's January 4 announcement said the $4.6 billion purchase price "for substantially all of the global business of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC and its affiliated debtors and debtors-in-possession excludes cash, but includes the assumption of certain pension, environmental and other operating obligations". And in November, Brookfield Property Partners offered to buy the remaining shares in General Growth Properties, adding to a large stake it purchased to bring the mall owner out of bankruptcy.

The deal won't include what had been the company's most prized projects - plans to build its AP1000 reactors for USA utilities in SC and Georgia.

Westinghouse had backed out of the two USA projects after it filed for Chapter 11, setting off a chain of events for the utilities involved.

The officials say Westinghouse is a leader in its field and has an established customer base.

Westinghouse Electric Co. declared bankruptcy protection early a year ago, leaving a number of nuclear projects in limbo.

Toshiba has been majority owner of Westinghouse Electric since 2006 and achieved full ownership previous year by buying a minority shareholder's 10 per cent stake for about US$522 million.

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