Sign for Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant

Plans for EDF to buy Areva’s nuclear business are set to have an impact on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project.

The deal will mean a shake-up in the shareholder structure of Britain‘s first new nuclear plant to be built in a generation, an official at EDF’s British subsidiary said.

EDF is negotiating details for a takeover of struggling Areva’s nuclear business valued at $3bn, a deal approved by the French government but that could take months to finalise.
Hinkley Point C sign
Reactor maker Areva was expected to cover 10 percent of the equity of Hinkley Point C, while two Chinese nuclear firms will own 30-40 percent and additional stakeholders up to 15 percent.

However, an EDF takeover would cancel out the 10 per cent stake dedicated to the French firm, meaning the company will have to re-assess its equity structure if the deal goes through.

“The talks between Areva, EDF and the French government will have an effect on the central structure of the project,” confirmed Paul Spence, director of strategy at EDF’s British subsidiary EDF Energy, at an industry event on Tuesday.

He declined to say whether this meant bringing a new investor on board.

EDF has yet to take a final investment decision on building the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point. Britain’s new Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said at the same event she was confident EDF would make its decision soon.

“There’s a whole raft of different factors involved and it’s progressing nicely,” she told reporters at the conference.