Thursday, October 27, 2005

French nuclear power company Areva

Stock Market News and Investment Information |

PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Thursday shelved plans to partially privatise state-owned Areva (CEPFi.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's largest maker of nuclear reactors.
Following are some key facts about the group.

* Areva was formed in 2001 from French state entities CEA-Industrie, Cogema, Framatome-ANP and FCI, taking its name from an abbey in northern Spain.

* Areva has annual sales of 11.1 billion euros ($13.4 billion) and over 70,000 staff in more than 100 countries.

It makes equipment for nuclear power generation, transmission and distribution and connectors linking electrical cables and equipment.

Its main rivals are British state-owned BNFL, the owner of U.S. nuclear plant builder Westinghouse, and General Electric Co. (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

* Areva management is headed by Anne Lauvergeon, a former aide to Socialist President Francois Mitterrand.

* The state owns 5.2 percent directly and other public entities hold 88.2 percent. The government had planned to raise some 3.6 billion euros by floating 30 to 40 percent of the company in 2006.

* Germany's Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) has a 34 percent stake in Areva's nuclear power reactor building unit Framatome-ANP. French engineering group Alstom (ALSO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) was also closely eyeing a possible flotation of Areva as a renewal of France's nuclear power stations approaches.

Media reported that construction group Bouygues (BOUY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) was also interested in a tie-up.

Bankers have said cash-rich oil firm Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) might have been interested as a way of diversifying into other energy sources.

* About 5 percent of Areva's capital is held by investors via investment certificates. The certificates, which carry the right to a dividend but no voting rights, were down 1.2 percent at 396.4 euros shortly after Villepin's announcement.

* Areva had first-half 2005 sales of 5.4 billion euros and net income of 301 million, with free cash flow of 535 million and net debt of 416 million. Third-quarter sales are due on Oct. 28.

For more on France's plan to scrap the privatisation of Areva, double-click on [ID:nL27641809]


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