Areva in talks with state fund on selling Eramet stake

27th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

French nuclear energy giant Areva said Tuesday it was in exclusive talks with the state investment fund FSI on selling its stake in the Eramet mining company worth more than 600 million euros.

Areva, which holds a 26 percent stake in the French mining company, said earlier this month that it wants to sell more than 1.2 billion in assets as part of a major restructuring and cost-cutting drive.

FSI, which looked into buying the Eramet stake from Areva in 2009-2010, said it had resumed talks with Areva on acquiring the stake.

The French state views the Eramet stake, worth more than 600 million euros according to the current market value of its shares, as strategic due to its strong presence in the French Pacific island group of New Caledonia.

According to the Les Echos business newspaper the SMSP mining company led by supporters of independence for New Caledonia have also sent Areva an offer for the shares in Eramet.

Areva warned earlier in December its 2011 operating loss may top 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion) as the Fukushima nuclear disaster hit the value of its mining assets.

© 2011 AFP

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