TOKYO Jan 8 Japan's government is
preparing to take control of Tokyo Electric Power Co,
operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, by
buying a majority stake in its common shares, Jiji News Agency
The government may inject about $13 billion into Tepco as
early as next summer, sources told Reuters last month,
effectively nationalising it through a purchase by a
government-run bailout fund of newly issued Tepco shares.
Tepco faces mammoth compensation and cleanup costs that
could tumble the utility into negative net worth after a March
11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the world's worst nuclear
crisis in 25 years at its Fukushima plant.
The government had previously considered buying preferred
shares without voting rights in Tepco, but was now opting for
more control to better push forward proposed changes such as
separating the utility's power generation and distribution arms,
Jiji said in a Saturday report.
Tepco officials declined to comment while government
officials were not available for comment.
The long-discussed breakup of power generation and
distribution would dent regional power companies' monopolies and
open the sector to new players.
Tepco, which is also shouldering large thermal fuel costs to
replace lost nuclear power, aims to compile a restructuring plan
by March that may include electricity rate rises.
(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Robert Birsel)