PARIS (Reuters) - The French state has fully subscribed to a 2.5 billion euro ($2.92 billion) capital increase of nuclear fuel group Areva NewCo, completing one of the last stages of a complex state-funded restructuring of the company, Areva said on Thursday.
Areva AREVA.PA said that the 500 million euros that Japanese companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) (7011.T) and JNFL have committed to contribute to a second capital increase will be put in a trust account and paid out once Areva’s reactor unit Areva New NP has been sold to state-owned utility EDF (EDF.PA).
The sale of the reactor unit is conditional on a satisfactory audit of Areva’s foundry Creusot Forge, which has been closed last year following the discovery of manufacturing flaws and falsification of documentation.
An Areva spokesman said that the foundry had just produced a new component after months of inactivity. The component will now be tested and analysed and Areva hopes that nuclear regulator ASN will give the green light to restart the plant this autumn.
Two weeks ago, Areva said the state had completed a 2 billion euro capital increase in legacy parent company Areva SA.
Following the sale of New Areva NP to EDF and the creation of NewCo - which will focus on uranium mining, nuclear fuel production and nuclear waste handling - Areva SA will be left with managing the EPR OL3 nuclear power plant construction project in Finland, which has been beset by a series of delays and extra costs.
The French government, which owns more than 92 percent of Areva’s capital following the capital operations, said earlier this month that it will buy up the remaining shares at 4.5 euros per share and then delist the company.
Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Ingrid Melander