FRANKFURT/PARIS April 11 Engineering group
Siemens (SIEGn.DE) and France's Areva CEPFi.PA have ended
their nuclear joint venture, though the breakdown of their
relationship has still to work its way through the courts.
Both Siemens and Areva confirmed a media report saying that
Areva had bought 34 percent of Areva NP from Siemens for 1.62
billion euros ($2.34 billion), effective March 18.
An arbitration court and the European Commission have yet to
make rulings on the issue.
The price tag was previously determined by independent
experts, but the value of Siemens's stake in Areva NP is still
subject to a final ruling by the arbitration tribunal of the
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.
An Areva spokeswoman said the arbitration process would
determine whether Siemens had broken its shareholder pact with
Areva by discussing a nuclear alliance with Russian Rosatom, an
alliance that has been put on hold pending that ruling.
If the ruling is favourable to Areva, Siemens could pay a
penalty, based on a percentage of the Areva NP price.
In addition, Siemens has called upon the European Commission
to overturn a non-competition clause that would prevent the
German company from competing with Areva for eight years.
Overturning the clause in its agreement with Areva would
enable Siemens to offer its own nuclear plant technology.
However, in the light of events in Japan last month, where
an earthquake and tsunami led to radiation leaks at the
Fukushima nuclear plant, Siemens CFO Joe Kaeser said in an
interview with German daily Der Tagesspiegel that nuclear power
should be reassessed.
"Fukushima has to be the cause for a review of the
situation," Kaeser said, adding that "the world needs to do some
"How can we evaluate the remaining risk, which in all
likelihood will not come into effect but if it does may not be
containable?" Kaeser said.
Siemens said last month it expected the sale of its stake in
Areva NP to make a significant contribution to profit in its
fiscal second quarter this year.[ID:nLDE72E0J0]
(Reporting by Jens Hack in Munich and Benjamin Mallet in Paris;
Writing by Nicola Leske; Editing by Will Waterman)