Italy's Ansaldo Energia to buy British nuclear decommissioning firm NES

MILAN Thu May 22, 2014 11:40am EDT

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MILAN (Reuters) - Italian state-controlled power engineering company Ansaldo Energia has agreed to buy British nuclear decommissioning firm Nuclear Engineering Services (NES) for about 36 million euros ($49 million), Italy's state fund FSI said.

The deal would be the first acquisition in eight years for Ansaldo Energia, in which Chinese group Shanghai Electric Group (601727.SS) agreed this month to take a 40 percent stake from FSI (Fondo Strategico Italiano).

It will help the Genoa-based company, which specialises in gas turbines and competes against larger peer Siemens (SIEGn.DE), broaden its product range and expand abroad, starting with the "promising" UK market, FSI said in a statement.

NES, which employs 400 people at three locations in Britain - Wolverhampton, Risley and Beckermet - has annual sales of about 45 million euros and is involved in a project to clean up the Sellafield nuclear site in northern England.

The acquisition will be carried out via the Italian company's Ansaldo Nucleare nuclear unit.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Pravin Char)

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