Toshiba likely to sell 16 percent stake in Westinghouse: report

TOKYO Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:37pm EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Toshiba Corp (6502.T) is likely to sell a 16 percent stake out of its 67 percent holding in its U.S. nuclear power unit Westinghouse to businesses including a U.S. nuclear-related firm, to put it in a better position to win orders from developing countries, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Tuesday.

The Yomiuri did not identify the potential buyers of the stake or a deal amount. The leading candidates are U.S. companies but firms from other countries might also bid, the newspaper added, without citing sources.

With Japan considering phasing out nuclear power in the long term after last year's Fukushima plant disaster, Toshiba is looking to partner with firms that possess reactor-related technologies to help it get overseas orders, the paper said.

A Toshiba spokesman said he would check the report.

Toshiba has also been seeking buyers for a 20 percent stake that U.S.-based Shaw Group SHAW.N plans to sell back to Toshiba by January 2013.

The sale of the 16 percent stake would be separate from the Shaw deal, the Yomiuri said.

Shaw Group last year announced the sale of its 20 percent stake in Westinghouse to Toshiba to eliminate nearly $1.7 billion of debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

Shaw had partnered with Toshiba and Japanese engineer IHI Corp (7013.T) to buy Westinghouse from British Nuclear Fuels Plc for $5.4 billion in 2006. Toshiba bought a 77 percent stake, Shaw 20 percent and IHI 3 percent.

Toshiba's stake fell to 67 percent after the company sold a 10 percent stake to Kazakhstan's state-owned nuclear power company Kazatomprom.

Shares of Toshiba were up 0.4 percent at 272 yen in early trading on Tuesday, in line with the broader market.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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