July 28, 2013 / 9:26 AM / 4 years ago

Singapore GIC, Mitsubishi weigh Urenco bid-paper

2 Min Read

PARIS, July 28 (Reuters) - Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi are considering making a bid for European nuclear fuel maker Urenco, Britain's Sunday Times reported, without citing sources.

Britain wants to privatise its one-third stake in uranium enrichment firm Urenco. German utilities E.ON and RWE , who together own a third, also want to sell, but the Dutch government is debating what to do with its 33 percent stake.

The Dutch finance ministry said in May the Netherlands is willing to sell but wants governments to retain a majority holding in the firm or keep control over key aspects of its business.

Ownership of the Urenco is governed by the Treaty of Almelo, which aims to prevent nuclear proliferation, as enrichment technology can also be used to make atomic bombs.

Urenco is estimated to be worth up to 10 billion euros ($13 billion) and several buyers have been reported to be ready to bid for a stake.

These include French nuclear group Areva, Canadian uranium miner Cameco Corp and reactor builder Westinghouse's Japanese parent Toshiba.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd is a major Japanese nuclear group, which could benefit from being able to offer its customers nuclear fuel. It has an alliance with Areva to build a new type of reactor, the Atmea, for which it has signed an agreement in Turkey.

The GIC could join a list of financial investors reported to have been interested in Urenco. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and private equity houses KKR and CVC have also been reported to be mulling a bid for Urenco.

GIC, Mitsubishi and Urenco were not immediately available to comment.

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