Kuwait investors, Areva to discuss capital hike
Kuwait, December 4, 2010
Talks between the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and Areva over a capital raising for the French nuclear reactor maker could conclude as early as this weekend, a French paper said on Saturday, citing sources.
The Journal du Dimanche newspaper reported, without naming sources, France was eager to complete the operation before year-end, as a delay beyond December 15 could push it to next year and force a recalculation of Areva's value.
'According to our information, negotiations with the Kuwait Investment Authority should conclude this weekend or early next week in a tightened schedule,' the paper wrote. Areva declined to comment on the report.
On Thursday, the Financial Times said France and the Kuwait Investment Authority were discussing an initial cash injection of 750 million euros ($981.8 million) for Areva with the French state investing 250 million euros and the Kuwait fund the rest.
Separately, the French government is considering participation in the planned capital increase of state-owned Areva, French newspapers reported on Thursday citing comments Economic Minister Christine Lagarde made at a news conference.
The possible participation of the French state in Areva's plans to raise up to 3 billion euros through a 15 percent capital hike comes as doubts have increased about the government's ability to seal the deal by the end of this year.
French media reports have said talks with Qatar have stalled over Qatar's demand it take a direct stake in Areva's mining activities. French engineering group Alstom and utility EDF, whose chief Henri Proglio is seen as close to President Nicolas Sarkozy, are thought to oppose an investment by Mitsubishi.-Reuters