January 31, 2017 / 8:03 AM / a year ago

China decides against taking stake in Areva - source

PARIS (Reuters) - China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has decided against taking a stake in the capital increase and restructuring of French nuclear group Areva, a source close to the discussions said on Tuesday.

“The talks did not work out with the Chinese,” the source said.

Officials at the French Economy Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment on the move, which was first reported by the broadcaster BFM Business. BFM said negotiators had been reluctant to grant the Chinese a seat on the board.

Earlier this month, France said it would buy out minority shareholders in Areva and delist the troubled nuclear group, as talks with potential investors in a new nuclear fuel company being spun out of Areva neared a conclusion.

The state, which owns 87 percent of Areva, said it would offer 4.5 euros per Areva SA share to minority investors which include Kuwait’s investment fund, French utility EDF and French energy group Total.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JNFL have also been looking into taking a stake in Areva.

EDF and Areva needed to bring in foreign investors in order to secure the approval of the European Commission under its state aid regulations.

Reporting by Jean-Michel Belot, Matthieu Protard and Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Michel Rose

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