Uranium miner Cameco Corp. and alternative energy company Brookfield Renewable Partners said on Tuesday they would acquire nuclear power plant equipment maker Westinghouse Electric in a deal worth US$7.9 billion.
The deal for one of the most famous names in the US power industry comes at a time of renewed interest in nuclear power amid an energy crisis in Europe and soaring oil prices, crude and natural gas.
Nuclear power is also essential for countries to meet global net-zero carbon emissions targets and could be on the cusp of a boom seen after the oil crisis of the 1970s.
“We are seeing some of the best market fundamentals we have ever seen in the nuclear power industry,” said Tim Gitzel, CEO of uranium fuel supplier Cameco.
Cameco will own 49% of Westinghouse, with Brookfield Renewable and its institutional partners owning the remainder.
Westinghouse was acquired from Toshiba Corp by Brookfield Business Partners, a subsidiary of Canadian asset manager Brookfield, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2018, for $4.6 billion including debt.
Brookfield Business said in a separate statement that it expects to generate about $1.8 billion in proceeds from the sale of its 44% stake in Westinghouse, with the balance split among institutional partners. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
Last year, Reuters reported that Brookfield Business was exploring options, including selling a minority stake in Westinghouse.
Brookfield Renewable and its partners will pay approximately $2.3 billion for the transaction, while Cameco will incur equity costs of approximately $2.2 billion. Westinghouse’s existing debt structure will remain in place.
Cameco, one of the largest suppliers of uranium fuel, said it would finance the purchase with a combination of cash, debt and equity.