Toshiba may sell up to 16% of Westinghouse

AFP-JIJI

Toshiba Corp. plans to sell part of its controlling stake in U.S. nuclear power unit Westinghouse Electric Co. as it looks to form an alliance to tap demand in emerging markets, according to reports.

The engineering giant, which holds about 67 percent of Westinghouse, could sell as much as 16 percent of the U.S. firm to buyers with a foothold in nations eager to build nuclear plants after domestic demand fell away because of the Fukushima disaster, reports said Tuesday.

“While keeping our stake at more than 50 percent, we are considering selling the rest to a potential partner,” Toshiba spokesman Atsushi Ido told Dow Jones Newswires.

Toshiba’s plan is part of a strategy aimed at building an alliance with multiple partners to help tap China and other emerging nations, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Demand for new reactors in Japan evaporated after last year’s natural disaster sparked three meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. All 50 of the nation’s nuclear reactors were idled amid the crisis, and the recent reactivation of two units in Fukui Prefecture prompted huge protests on a wave of antinuclear sentiment.