Areva in Talks With France’s EDF, Other Investors on Asset Sales

Areva SA, the troubled French builder of atomic plants, is pursuing talks over the sale of its reactor business with Electricite de France SA as part of discussions with other investors to speed its turnaround plan.

“In parallel to talks with EDF, other partners have shown interest for several activities of the group,” Chief Executive Officer Philippe Knoche said Wednesday at Areva’s annual shareholder meeting near Paris. “We’re holding talks, sometimes formal, sometimes exploratory.”

The discussions with Electricite de France, known as EDF, range from Areva’s reactor engineering business to its entire reactor and services division, Chairman Philippe Varin said at the meeting. A capital increase also may be part of the company’s funding plan, which will be presented by the end of July, Varin said.

Areva rose 8.2 percent, the most since October 2013, to 9.35 euros in Paris. That erased 2015 declines and left the shares up 2.6 percent this year. The stock plunged 52 percent in 2014.

State-controlled Areva also mines uranium, makes nuclear fuel and recycles nuclear waste. It’s seeking to shore up its finances after record losses caused by mismanaged projects in France and Finland, as well as a retreat from atomic energy in countries including Japan and Germany.

EDF said Tuesday that it was close to making an offer for Areva’s reactor-services business. Engie, the French utility formerly known as GDF Suez SA, is studying an offer for the international segment of that unit, two people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg this week.

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