Toshiba in Talks to Sell Part of Westinghouse Stake

by Christopher Freeburn | December 27, 2012 10:25 am

Toshiba Corp. TOSBF[1]Toshiba (PINK:TOSBF[2]) has received offers from three potential buyers for part of its stake in Westinghouse Electric, but it’s not in a hurry to close a deal[3].

The Japanese conglomerate paid $4.2 billion in 2006 to acquire a 77% stake in Westinghouse, which makes nuclear reactors. Toshiba is now considering selling up to 16% of that stake, which could be worth as much as $875 million, The Wall Street Journal noted.

Toshiba is looking for a strategic partner that can help the company expand its presence in the U.S., the U.K., China, India, Brazil and Finland. Westinghouse manufactures pressurized-water reactors, which have a wider worldwide market than the boiling-water reactors that are common in Japan.

While the nuclear power industry suffered a blow in the wake of the meltdown at Japan’s Fukashima reactor during the 2011 tsunami, Toshiba expects countries that had already planned to expand nuclear power generation to continue those projects. But they’ll be delayed by two to three years due to fallout from the crisis.

Demand for nuclear power plants has also diminished in the U.S. because of leaps in production of natural gas and the resultant tumble in its price. Outside the U.S., however, Toshiba expects nuclear power to remain a more cost-competitive energy source, particularly in Asia.

Shares of Toshiba rose more than 1% in over-the-counter trading on Thursday morning.

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