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Areva Denies AFP Report It Plans to Cut at Least 2,700 Jobs

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Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Areva SA, the world’s largest provider of nuclear equipment and services, denied a report by Agence France-Presse that it plans to cut a minimum of 2,700 jobs, including more than 1,000 in France.

Areva didn’t comment in an e-mailed statement on the rest of the AFP report, which said it plans to save 500 million euros ($676 million) a year. The Paris-based company also plans to reduce its investments by more than 40 percent to 7 billion euros and sell some assets, including Areva’s stake in nickel miner Eramet SA, AFP said, citing unidentified people close to the matter.

Chief Executive Officer Luc Oursel will unveil a five-year strategic plan next month, AFP also said.

Fleur Floquet, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment when called by Bloomberg News about the AFP report.

Francois Baroin, France’s finance minister, will meet tomorrow afternoon with Oursel to discuss speculation about a strategic plan, the French Finance Ministry said in a separate e-mailed statement today.

Baroin acknowledged that Areva has denied a report suggesting it would eliminate jobs as part of the plan, adding that he wanted to reiterate that the goal of the state shareholder for Areva is to maintain long-term investment in the company, ensuring that its development will not be pursued at the expense of employment in France, the statement said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net; John Simpson at jsimpson12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Rhinds at srhinds@bloomberg.net