Toshiba considers bidding for UK nuclear fuel firm Urenco

Japanese industrial group Toshiba Corp (TYO:6502) is mulling over a possible bid for UK nuclear fuel producer Urenco Limited, the Sunday Times reported without quoting any sources.

According to the paper, Toshiba is holding discussions with several parties, including Japan’s Mizuho Bank Ltd, to provide funding for a potential deal. Reuters could not immediately reach Toshiba for comment.

Several buyout firms have also shown interest in Urenco. Apax Partners LLP, KKR & Co LP (NYSE:KKR), The Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) and CVC Capital Partners Ltd reportedly hold discussions to create two separate consortia.

Urenco was formed in 1971 by the German, Dutch and the UK governments. Unlike the UK and Germany, whose stake is held by RWE AG (ETR:RWE) and E.ON AG (ETR:EOAN), the Dutch government is unwilling to sell its stake in the firm over concerns that unfriendly regimes or terrorists could take possession of Urenco’s centrifuge technology.

The vendors are expected to launch an action in the coming months if the Dutch and UK governments come to terms about the sale. Urenco is estimated to be worth up to GBP10bn (USD15.9bn/EUR11.9bn), the paper said.