CB&I sues Westinghouse over claims related to nuclear business sale

(Reuters) - Chicago Bridge & Iron Co NV (CB&I) CBI.N has sued Westinghouse Electric Co to protect itself from a potential $2 billion claim from Westinghouse related to the sale of CB&I's nuclear construction business to Westinghouse in 2015.

CB&I said in its complaint that Westinghouse, a unit of Japanese engineering firm Toshiba Corp 6502.T, improperly used a provision of the purchase agreement to justify its claim.

That provision, according to CB&I, was only to be used to true up the parties’ working capital expenses between the signing of the sale agreement in October and the closing of the deal in December.

CB&I filed the suit in the Court of Chancery in the state of Delaware on Thursday.

After the closing of the deal, CB&I submitted its calculation of the working capital of $428 million in CB&I’s favor. Westinghouse later said CB&I owed $2 billion to Westinghouse, according to the complaint.

CB&I said it sold its nuclear construction business to Westinghouse for nothing to get a “complete end to responsibility or liability” for delays in constructing nuclear projects that it was building with Westinghouse.

Westinghouse is still working on the four reactors - two in South Carolina at the Summer plant and two in Georgia at the Vogtle plant.

In a statement, Westinghouse said the company was aware of the filing in Delaware.

“As a matter of course, Westinghouse does not generally comment on pending litigation. It is important, however, that this litigation does not impact Westinghouse’s ability to drive delivery certainty to our AP1000 projects in the United States.”

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Cynthia Osterman