UK and Germany to hold talks about £10bn privatisation of Urenco
With the privatisation of Urenco, the British government could generate almost £3bn in revenue Reuters

The government will engage German authorities in talks this week, to unblock the £10bn (€13.5bn, $15.4bn) privatisation deal of uranium processing giant, Urenco. The company is jointly owned by Britain, two state-owned German utilities -- EOn and RWE -- and the Dutch government.

The privatisation of Urenco would generate much more revenue for the British government, in comparison to other non-bank assets, Sky News reported.

Talks have been scheduled between UK and German authorities amid growing concerns of securing an outright approval for the deal from the Netherlands.

According to the spokesman of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, "No final decision has been made by the British Government on the sale of its shares in Urenco. We continue to move forward with preparations for the sale of our shareholding. Any sale of our shareholding will be contingent on safeguarding our security and non-proliferation interests, and delivering value for money for the UK taxpayer."

However, analysts are of the view that British Chancellor George Osborne is willing to sell the country's stake in Urenco, which would raise £3bn. The shareholder executive that manages the UK-headquartered company's stake, was recently brought under the Treasury's aegis by Osborne, which seems like a renewed effort to remove the deadlock.

Any stake sale would require the consent of all shareholders, who have previously discussed strategies such as a stock market listing, bids by nuclear industry participants and private equity groups.

The Dutch government, as previously reported, would prefer an outright sale of Urenco instead of an IPO, as its technology and assets are highly sensitive.

The activities of the uranium giant are controlled by Treaties of Almelo, Cardiff and Washington that were drawn in order to control the proliferation of nuclear technology and to stop enriched uranium from falling into the wrong hands.

Among those expected to bid for the firm include, Canadian uranium producer Cameco, Japan's Mitsubishi, Areva, the French nuclear group and private equity groups such as Apax Partners, Carlyle and KKR.

According to its corporate website, Urenco uses centrifuge technology to provide uranium enrichment services that its customers require to generate low carbon nuclear energy.