PARIS – A leading French nuclear energy corporation announced on Thursday it had sold its nuclear propulsion and research reactors division to a consortium composed of French state-owned companies and agencies.
France’s largest nuclear corporation Areva has sold its Areva TA division to a consortium of buyers made up of the French government’s State Holdings Agency (APE), the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and state-owned naval defense and energy group DCNS, Areva said in a statement.
Areva TA has a workforce of nearly 1,500 employees and will remain under the control of state agencies.
All parties signed a sale agreement on Dec. 15, 2016, but as of Thursday, Areva TA’s shareholders were as follows: the French state, by way of the APE, was the majority shareholder with 50.32 percent, while the CEA, DCNS, and French electric utility company, EDF respectively held stakes of 20.32 percent, 20.32 percent and 9.03 percent, according to the Areva statement.
The reason behind the sale was Areva’s unsustainable financial situation as well as disposal operations of France’s largest nuclear company.
Philippe Knoche, Areva CEO, said: “the sale of Areva TA is further evidence of our commitment to carry forward Areva’s transformation and to refocus the group on the nuclear cycle business.”
He added that the ownership changes would safeguard “Areva TA’s activities while offering new resources for its industrial development.”
Areva TA’s CEO Carolle Foissaud declared the changes “a new page in the company’s history,” adding she had “full confidence in the management team to capitalize on and develop this wealth for the future development of the company.”
The downsized Areva corporation would now focus on its nuclear fuel cycle business.