Toshiba to buy UK nuclear firmReuters

Japanese engineering giant Toshiba is acquiring a controlling stake in British nuclear firm NuGeneration that plans to build three reactors at the Moorside site in West Cumbria, Northwest England.

The company has reached agreements with GDF SUEZ of France and Iberdrola of Spain to take a 60% stake in NuGeneration. Toshiba will purchase all of Iberdrola's indirect 50% holding in NuGeneration and the remaining stake from GDF SUEZ.

The total consideration for the acquisition is estimated at £102m ($167m, €122m), but the amount is subject to adjustment, according to Toshiba.

Toshiba aims to complete the overall transaction within the first half of 2014, subject to relevant authorisations and consents.

"As the majority owner of NuGen, Toshiba, in collaboration with its group company, Westinghouse Electric Company, intends to move forward with the construction of three AP1000 nuclear reactors on the Moorside site, in partnership with GDF SUEZ," the company said in a statement.

Following the transaction, GDF SUEZ would have a 40% stake in the project.

NuGen's Moorside project involves development of a new generation nuclear power station with a capacity of 3.4 gigawatts.

Toshiba's investment in the Moorside site goes in line with Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to lure £110bn of investment into Britain's aging electricity infrastructure by the end of the decade.

Toshiba added that it would seek further opportunities in Europe and other key geographies to build AP1000 reactors, which are the world's "most advanced and safest pressurised water reactor design", according to the company.

Opportunities outside Japan

The second largest economy in Asia has pulled the plug of all its nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The Fukushima power plant was hit by an earthquake-sparked tsunami, resulting in one of the worst atomic accidents in history.

The development affected the business of Japanese nuclear engineering companies such as Toshiba and Hitachi.

While Toshiba increased its interest in US-based nuclear firm Westinghouse in 2013, rival Hitachi is looking to acquire British power firm Horizon.