Toshiba set to sell stakes in Westinghouse

Toshiba Corporation (6502:JP) of Japan is in talks to sell up to 36 per cent of its nuclear power service provider, Westinghouse Electric, which it acquired a majority stake back in 2006, reports Bloomberg.

The company is reportedly in discussions with three parties for a 16 per cent share in the business, and is talking with three other parties about a 20 per cent stake, confirmed Toshiba’s president Norio Sasaki.

In 2006, Toshiba paid close to $4.2bn for 77 per cent of Westinghouse. It now owns 67 per cent after selling a portion to Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom in 2007.

However, the Japanese company is being forced to acquire 20 per cent of Westinghouse from Shaw Group next month for 125bn yen ($1.4bn) because the latter is exercising an option to sell its stock.

This will bring Toshiba’s total holding to 87 per cent.

Toshiba confirmed in October it had interest from potential partners for the nuclear business and was open to talks on selling stakes as long as it retained majority control.

One of the potential buyers is muted to be Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I)

CB&I agreed in July to buy Shaw Group for $3bn to expand its nuclear business.

Shaw and CB&I are part of the group constructing the first new reactors in the US since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

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