First Published: 2009-03-12

France may allow Gulf funds into nuclear giant

FT reports French government may allow Gulf states' sovereign wealth funds to take tiny stakes in Areva.


Middle East Online

Areva is the world's biggest builder of nuclear reactors

PARIS - The French government may allow Gulf states' sovereign wealth funds to take minority stakes in the nuclear giant Areva, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

The report quoted people close to the matter as saying exploratory talks have been held on offering stakes of one to five percent to the funds -- state agencies that manage billions of dollars in oil and has revenue.

A spokesman for Areva, which is 90 percent owned by the French state, declined to comment on the report.

Areva, the world's biggest builder of nuclear reactors, needs fresh capital to maintain a strong position in a global revival of the industry and President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered a review of its future.

Investment from partners in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia could also help Areva strengthen its standing in a region that is interested in developing nuclear energy.

Areva, which is also involved in uranium mining and recycling nuclear waste, is facing pressure to find new capital sources after Germany's Seimens decided to pull out of a joint venture with it in January.


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