PARIS, March 13 A likely debate about the future
of nuclear power in the aftermath of damage to reactors in Japan
following a massive earthquake and tsunami could impact the
prospects of French nuclear groups.
This is a list of key facts on these three groups, which are
all controlled or partially owned by the French state: nuclear
reactor maker Areva CEPFi.PA, gas and electricity group GDF
Suez GSZ.PA and former nuclear power monopoly EDF (EDF.PA).
* The world's biggest nuclear reactor maker, with a market
capitalisation of just over 13 billion euros ($18 billion),
full-year revenues of 12 billion euros, an order book of 44
billion euros on Dec. 31, and 48,000 staff worldwide.
* Areva is more than 90 percent owned by the French state.
* Competes with Toshiba's (6502.T) Westinghouse Electric,
Russia's Atomenergoprom and South Korea's KEPCO (015760.KS).
* Anne Lauvergeon has been CEO since 2001, but she could be
replaced in June when her mandate expires amid French media
reports that President Nicolas Sarkozy is opposed to her staying
after project issues and a spat with the head of power giant
EDF. She was ranked by magazine Forbes as the world's 9th most
powerful woman in 2008. [ID:nLDE7171WD] [ID:nLDE7171XM]
* Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund KIA agreed in December to
take a 600 million euro stake in Areva, or 4.8 percent, as part
of a capital increase.
* Areva has signed a memorandum of understanding with India
to build 2 reactors, with an option for 4 more, and it was
picked by Enel and EDF to provide at least 4 reactors in Italy.
It is in the process of licensing its 1,600 MW EPR reactor in
Britain and the United States. It is also developing a less
expensive 1,100 MW next-generation reactor Atmea.
* The world's biggest producer of nuclear power, with a
market cap of 57 billion euros, sales of 65 billion euros in
2010, and 169,000 staff worldwide.
* It competes with GDF Suez, Italy's Enel (ENEI.MI),
Germany's E.ON (EONGn.DE).
* Operates 58 reactors in 19 plants in France. EDF is
building a next generation reactor (EPR) in Flamanville,
northwestern France, and plans to build another in Penly.
* EDF is 84.5 percent owned by the French state.
* Henri Proglio, who is reportedly close to French President
Nicolas Sarkozy, was appointed at the head of EDF in November
2009. He has called for, and obtained, the leadership of French
nuclear industry's bids abroad since France lost a landmark $40
billion nuclear deal in Abu Dhabi in December 2009.
* Proglio has called for the breakup of Areva, leading to a
public spat with Areva's Lauvergeon.
* EDF bought British Energy for 13.5 billion euros in 2008
It has agreed with Enel on feasibility studies for 4 nuclear
plants in Italy.
* Last year, it settled a dispute with U.S. partner
Constellation Energy Group CEG.N over their nuclear project
that could have cost EDF up to $2 billion [ID:nN26180877], and
the French group sold its 45 percent stake in Germany's Energie
Baden-Wuerttemberg (EnBW) (EBKG.DE) for 4.7 billion euros.
* The world's biggest utility since its recent acquisition
of a 70 percent stake in Britain's International Power IPR.L.
GDF Suez has market cap of 61 billion euros, sales of 84 billion
euros, and 214,000 staff worldwide.
* Its rivals are EDF, E.ON, Enel.
* Its main shareholders are the French state, with over 35
percent of its capital, followed by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert,
Capital Research Global Investors, CDC and Areva.
* Former Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet heads GDF Suez.
* Operates 7 nuclear plants in Belgium.
* GDF Suez pulled out of plans to operate a next-generation
EPR nuclear power plant in Penly, northwestern France, which
sources close to the matter attributed to the fact that GDF Suez
was forced to take a back seat in the EDF-led project. It has
since then called on the French government for the authorisation
to build an Atmea reactor in the Rhone valley.
* GDF Suez has partnered with Spain's Iberdrola (IBE.MC) and
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE.L) in a bid to build
new-generation nuclear reactors in Britain.
(Reporting by Marie Maitre; Editing by Matthew Jones)