Areva says talks continue with CNNC about stake in nuclear fuel unit

A view shows the Areva Tower, the headquarters of the French nuclear reactor maker Areva, at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French nuclear fuel group New Areva said it had signed an agreement about a nuclear fuel processing facility with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and added that talks are continuing about CNNC taking a stake in the firm.

New Areva, which is being split off from state-owned nuclear group Areva SA AREVA.PA, said in a statement on Tuesday that the deal supports ongoing talks between New Areva and CNNC about a nuclear fuel reprocessing and recycling plant, which has been under negotiation for years.

“Meanwhile the capital of New Areva remains open for an investment of CNNC within the same framework as the agreements currently being finalised with two investors,” Areva said.

Areva said earlier this month Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 7011.T (MHI) had agreed to buy a combined 10 percent stake in New Areva for 500 million euros (423 million pounds) as part of a mainly state-funded rescue for the firm.

Sources have said that Areva could not agree with CNNC about the size of CNNC’s potential stake and the level of representation in the board that would come with it.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain