Toshiba buys more Westinghouse stake

Toshiba buys more Westinghouse stake

Toshiba buys more Westinghouse stake

This file photo shows the San Onofre nuclear power plant in north San Diego County. Toshiba is the largest shareholder in US nuclear power power facility developer Westinghouse.

Toshiba has boosted its stake in U.S. nuclear power plant builder Westinghouse Electric to 87 percent, the company said yesterday, as it eyes atomic opportunities outside disaster-struck Japan.

The Japanese technology conglomerate said it paid about 125 billion yen ($1.42 billion) for a 20 percent holding in Westinghouse held by U.S.-based engineering firm The Shaw Group, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday..

The deal announced yesterday finalized an option that Shaw exercised in October to sell its entire stake in Westinghouse to Toshiba.

Last month, Toshiba said it was in talks with three parties about selling a stake of up to 16 percent in Westinghouse, while keeping its majority stake.

Yesterday, Toshiba said it “is considering welcoming new investment partners on the premise that we hold a majority share in Westinghouse.”

The firm’s statement added that partners would be chosen based on “whether we would be able to share visions and long-term business strategy, whether synergy effect with Westinghouse is expected, and an appropriate estimate of Westinghouse’s corporate value is provided, among others.”

Japanese firms have been looking overseas as demand for new nuclear plants remains uncertain in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima crisis, the worst atomic accident in a generation that was caused by a quake-sparked tsunami.

The country is looking for chances to resume nuclear power after closing all reactors after the accident, while Japanese firms are seeking international business opportunities.

China back in business

Meanwhile, China has begun building a new nuclear power plant after lifting a construction moratorium imposed following Japan’s Fukushima disaster, state-controlled Xinhua news agency has said.

The 3 billion yuan ($475 million) power plant in Rongcheng, an eastern coastal city in Shandong province, will incorporate advanced safety features developed by Chinese researchers, The Associated Press interpreted the agency as saying yesterday.

China is the world’s biggest energy consumer and nuclear power is a key element in official efforts to curb surging demand for fossil fuels.

Beijing suspended approval of new nuclear power plants to carry out safety reviews following the Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima plant. That moratorium was lifted in October.