LONDON Dec 7 The new Dutch government picked
ABN Amro to advise on the future of its 33 percent stake in
UK-based uranium enrichment company Urenco, three people
familiar with the situation told Reuters on Friday.
The previous government had hired Credit Suisse to
examine its strategy regarding Urenco's ownership, but this
mandate was not renewed after a government reshuffle in
September and staff changes at the Swiss bank, one source said.
The Dutch, alongside British and German shareholders who
each own a one-third stake in Urenco, have been conducting a
strategic review, with options including a partial sale or
initial public offering for the company, which is thought to be
worth about 10 billion euros, the sources said.
The British government appointed Morgan Stanley in
September to advise on a possible disposal of its 33 percent
German utilities RWE and E.On, which
jointly control the remaining third of Urenco, are thought to
have lined up Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise on
Urenco is controlled by a shareholding pact aimed at
preventing its cutting-edge centrifuge technology from ending up
in the wrong hands.
Any change in the shareholding structure would be highly
complicated and take some time, with any decision subject to a
veto by any of the government shareholders, the sources said.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that the
Dutch government does not want to sell its stake, they said.
No decision has been taken by any of the parties, and
discussions could stretch well into 2013, they said.
Urenco's unique technological position in an industry
dominated by only four players would make the company attractive
to energy players, including French nuclear group Areva
and Canadian uranium trading company
ABN Amro, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Bank of America
Merrill Lynch declined to comment. Urenco said it was a matter
for the executive committee. The Dutch government was not
available for comment.