Kuwait wealth fund to buy $792m Areva stake
Kuwait, December 10, 2010
Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund is to take a 600 million euro ($792 million) stake in French nuclear group Areva as part of a capital increase that will also see the French state invest 300 million.
Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said in a statement that the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) would take a 4.8 per cent stake in the French nuclear reactor maker, in which the French government has an indirect stake of around 90 per cent.
'These proposals from KIA and the state will be examined on December 11 by the (Areva) supervisory board,' said Lagarde in a statement that came minutes after Areva announced its supervisory board would meet on Saturday at 0900 GMT.
KIA and the French state agreed on a shareholding pact under which Paris has committed to 'do its utmost' to list Areva on the stock market by June 2011, Lagarde said.
Areva currently trades on the Paris bourse in the form of investment certificates that represent around 4 percent of the company's capital. The certificates were suspended from trading earlier on Friday after Areva announced its board meeting.
The meeting, which comes after months of talks plagued by political and industrial setbacks, will lay out the first phase of a long-awaited capital increase. French Industry Minister Eric Besson said on Sunday a second phase could take place at a later stage with other parties.
The second capital increase could take place within three to six months and involve industrial investors Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, engineering group Alstom and utility EDF, several sources said. In total, Areva hopes to raise 3 billion euros.-Reuters