Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it has completed its acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Co., the U.S.-based nuclear power plant builder, from British Nuclear Fuels PLC.
Toshiba hopes its purchase will help it make inroads into the global nuclear power plant business.
The electronics maker acquired a 77 percent stake in Westinghouse for $4.16 billion. The deal is worth $5.4 billion in all.
“The acquisition of Westinghouse will add 97 (nuclear) power plants . . . to the 17 operated by (Toshiba) in Japan, raising the number to 114 power plants worldwide,” Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida said at a news conference at the company’s head office in Tokyo.
Nishida said Toshiba hopes to expand its nuclear power plant business to 900 billion yen by 2020 from the current 200 billion yen.
Global demand for nuclear power plants is on the rise, Nishida said, citing efforts to promote nuclear energy in Britain, China, the U.S. and elsewhere.
“Even after building a plant, whose lifetime is 60 years on average, we can make a profit by providing maintenance services,” Nishida said.
Toshiba’s partners in the buyout are Shaw Groups Inc. of the U.S., which purchased a 20 percent stake, and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., which bought the remaining 3 percent, the company said.
Nishida expressed optimism about Toshiba’s investment despite the cost, stressing the nuclear power business is expected to enjoy strong growth thanks to growing demand for secure energy resources worldwide.
Nuclear reactors can be categorized into two types — boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors. The latter is more popular worldwide.
Toshiba, which specializes in the boiling water type, hopes to gain a foothold in the global market by purchasing Westinghouse, which has expertise in the pressurized water type.
Toshiba took out bank loans for the purchase but said it would be able to recoup its investment within 17 years.
Trading house Marubeni Corp. had shown interest in participating in the acquisition but later withdrew. Toshiba initially planned to keep its stake in Westinghouse at around 50 percent but was forced to raise it to 77 percent due to Marubeni’s sudden withdrawal.
“(Marubeni) should have told us that they might not participate in the investment or should have made up their minds earlier,” Nishida said.
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