Toshiba Wants to Acquire Majority Stake in U.K.’s NuGeneration

Toshiba Corp., the Japanese maker of atomic reactors and flash-memory chips, said it wants to buy a majority stake in the British nuclear venture NuGeneration Ltd.

The Tokyo-based company plans to make a decision before Dec. 31, said Naomi Furuya, a spokeswoman for Toshiba. She declined to provide more details.

Reuters reported yesterday that Toshiba Chief Executive Officer Hisao Tanaka said the company wants a majority stake in the British nuclear group. Furuya confirmed his comments.

NuGen, currently owned by European utilities GDF Suez SA and Iberdrola SA, plans to develop a nuclear plant at Moorside in northwest England. The company is deciding between two reactor designs, including the AP1000 unit built by Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric unit.

“NuGen is aware of the media speculation surrounding comments reportedly made by the CEO of Toshiba and concerning interest in NuGen,” said John McNamara, a spokesman for the U.K. company. “We have no comment to make on that speculation.”

Toshiba plans to sell 150,000 tracking units in Europe during the next three years to manage and track energy use as it expands sales in the U.K. and Germany, the company said Sept. 5. Toshiba delayed a nuclear sales goal of 1 trillion yen to fiscal year 2018 from 2017, Tanaka said in August.

Westinghouse agreed with Exelon Nuclear Partners to jointly propose building nuclear facilities in Saudi Arabia, the Japanese company said last month. Toshiba and Westinghouse would be in charge of equipment design and technology, and Chicago-based Exelon would oversee operational services, according to a statement.

Toshiba also is benefiting from demand for hydro, wind and gas-fired stations in the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

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