EDF, Areva agree reactor business worth about 2.5 billion euro: sources

PARIS (Reuters) - EDF EDF.PA and French nuclear group Areva AREVA.PA have agreed that Areva's reactor business is worth slightly more than 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion) as part of EDF's plan to take a controlling stake in the unit, two sources said on Wednesday.

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, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

In late July, EDF agreed to buy 51 to 75 percent of the Areva NP reactor unit based on a value of 2.7 billion euros for the entire division, though it has since been the subject of tough negotiations.

Confirming information first reported on Wednesday by Les Echos newspaper, one of the sources also said that EDF’s board would meet on Jan. 27 to formally approve its offer.

One of the sources said that the amount that EDF would pay for the unit could be adjusted with a bonus in two years depending on how well the business performs.

Both companies declined to comment.

Talks between the two groups have stalled over differences about the value and how to take into account risks linked to a much delayed and over budget reactor Areva is building in Finland that has plunged it deep into losses.

Les Echos reported that once EDF makes a firm offer, the government may indicate how large a capital increase Areva would need, which may be in the range of 3.0-4.5 billion euros, according to its sources.

The Economy Ministry declined to comment. Areva is 87 percent state-owned, EDF 84.5 percent.

EDF has indicated that it would not accept being exposed to risks linked to the Finnish reactor as Areva and its Finnish customer Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) seek billions of euros in damages from one another.

Les Echos said one possibility under consideration would be to transfer the Finnish contract from the reactor division to Areva the parent company, leaving the state to bear risks tied to the project.

($1 = 0.9197 euros)

Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle