French Government Said to Seek Areva Financing Accord This Week

Bloomberg reports, “The French government is seeking commitments from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the sovereign funds of Qatar and Kuwait to buy new shares in nuclear company Areva SA by the time the Areva board meets on Nov. 16, two people with direct knowledge of the talks said. The state, owner of 91 percent of Areva, may sell shares in two stages to avoid a delay into 2011, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because talks are private.

The sale to sovereign wealth funds may take place this year, while a deal with industrial partners may not happen until 2011 because talks about cooperation are more complex, the person said. Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon has been pushing for the capital increase to help fund spending on plants and uranium mines. The company, whose finances have been hurt by construction cost overruns at a reactor in Finland, is seeking to fend off competition and sell more reactors and fuel in Europe, China and India. Failure to seal talks with Kuwait and Qatar by next week would drag the entire stock sale into 2011, the person said.”

Read more: Bloomberg

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