Brookfield Asset Management to acquire Toshiba's Westinghouse for $4.6bn

Toshiba was brought to its knees by delays and costs in building two reactors at the Vogtle plant in Georgia

Toshiba was brought to its knees by delays and costs in building two reactors at the Vogtle plant in Georgia

LLC for US$4.6 billion, in a bold move that appears to be welcomed by investors.

Amid the cost overruns, returns for nuclear power generation in the US have also been under extreme pressure from abundant low-priced natural gas production, which left utility companies powered by nuclear energy at a huge disadvantage against the cheaper, gas-fired power generation companies.

Westinghouse Electric, which has its headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, is among the world's leading infrastructure suppliers to nuclear power generating facilities but sought creditor protection from U.S. Bankruptcy Court last March.

"Even though they don't have a history in nuclear it really does feel like a fit", NY city-based Keefe, Bruyette and Woods analyst Ann Dai said.

Toshiba stock rose about 2% in Tokyo following the news of the Westinghouse deal.

The deal is expected to be funded with approximately $1bn of equity, $3bn of long-term debt financing and the balance by the assumption of pension, environmental obligations.

Brookfield has $15.9bn in assets under management specialising in energy, construction and other industrial operations.

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Brookfield Business Partners said it expects to fund the purchase of 100 per cent of Westinghouse through a combination of $1 billion USA of equity, $3 billion of long-term debt and the assumption of certain obligations.

An affiliate of Canadian alternative investment firm Brookfield Asset Management said this week it would acquire Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, the bankrupt nuclear services company owned by Toshiba Corp, for US$4.6 billion ($5.7 billion), Reuters reported.

Under the terms of the deal, Brookfield and partners will acquire substantially all of the global business of Westinghouse Electric Company and its affiliated debtors and debtors-in-possession.

The two nuclear projects, which will feature Westinghouse' AP1000 reactors, include the V.C. Summer in SC which is majority owned by SCANA as well as Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia which is being developed by Southern Co-led group of utilities.

Since filing for bankruptcy, Westinghouse said it planned to get out of the business of building new reactors and focus on servicing them, including decommissioning work.

Westinghouse runs the Springfields factory at Salwick which produces fuel for reactors at power stations. He said that Saudi Arabia is now looking to add nuclear power to meet its rising demand for electricity. It is also subject to US Bankruptcy Court approval due to Westinghouse EC being put into US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

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