* Siemens to sell its 34-percent stake to Areva S.A.
* Says Areva to acquire Siemens’ stake within three years
* Says purchase price to be agreed upon by both parties (Adds details from Siemens statement and background)
MUNICH, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Siemens AG SIEGn.DE will exit the nuclear venture Areva NP and plans to sell its 34-percent stake to majority holder Areva S.A. CEPFi.PA, it said late on Monday, ahead of its annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.
“The role as a minority shareholder considerably limits the entrepreneurial maneuverability of Siemens within the joint venture,” Siemens said in a statement and added it would want to terminate the joint venture at the earliest date possible.
Three sources familiar with the situation told Reuters earlier on Monday that Siemens would want to exit the venture to set up a partnership with Russia’s Atomenergoprom.
Siemens and Atomenergoprom, which manages Russia’s civilian nuclear industry assets, declined to comment earlier in the day and Siemens also made no reference to such plans in its statement late on Monday. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited company sources on Saturday as reporting talks between Siemens and Atomenergoprom. [ID:nLO524594]
Areva will acquire Siemens’ stake within three years and the purchase price would be agreed upon by the two companies in accordance with the terms and conditions of the shareholders agreement, Siemens said.
The sources said, Areva had a book value of 2.1 billion euros ($2.72 billion) on Siemens’ 34 percent stake and French newspaper Les Echos, which reported on Friday that Siemens was poised to sell its Areva NP stake, valued it at 2 billion euros.
Siemens supplies the conventional island for nuclear power plants for Areva NP as well as joint customers and would continue to offer those products to the nuclear power plant market, it said.
“Siemens will further evaluate all available options to continue its commitment in nuclear power plant business,” it said.
“We want to play an active role in shaping developments - and this also applies to the nuclear energy market. That’s why we’ve taken the initiative,” Chief Executive Peter Loescher said in a statement.
“In view of global climate change and the increasing power demand worldwide, for us nuclear energy remains an essential part of a sustainable energy mix,” he said.
Reporting by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Bernard Orr
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