Cameco Corp. and Brookfield Renewable Partners have announced the acquisition of Westinghouse Electric for $7.9 billion including debt. Westinghouse is a nuclear plant equipment maker, making the acquisition an important one for the growing interest in nuclear energy around the world.
Energy companies are increasingly looking to nuclear energy as an environmentally-friendly and reliable option for the future. This acquisition with an equity value of $4.5 billion will help Cameco and Brookfield Renewable Partners expand their nuclear businesses.
Cameco will take 49% stake in Westinghouse, and Brookfield Renewable and the company’s institutional partners will own the remaining stake. Brookfield Business Partners acquired Westinghouse from Toshiba Corp. in 2018 for $4.6 billion including debt. Brookfield Business Partners is an affiliate of Brookfield. Brookfield Business has stated it could generate approximately $1.8 billion from the sale of its 44% Westinghouse stake. The acquisition should close sometime in the second half of 2023.
Nuclear power has come to the forefront as natural gas and crude oil prices have skyrocketed during an energy crisis in Europe. Nuclear power was once seen as a dangerous option, but technological advancements and the growing environmental consciousness of the public have led to a resurgence in the industry.
Countries such as Germany and France have committed to nuclear power as part of their transition to completely renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Natural gas has traditionally been a major source of energy for Europe but with prices soaring, consumers are increasingly asking for alternatives.
The acquisition of Westinghouse Electric will help Cameco and Brookfield Renewable Partners expand their nuclear businesses and help to bring nuclear energy back into the forefront as an environmentally-friendly and reliable option. “We’re witnessing some of the best market fundamentals we’ve ever seen in the nuclear energy sector,” Uranium fuel supplier Cameco’s chief executive, Tim Gitzel, said.
It also complements Cameco’s business as one of the largest suppliers of uranium fuel. The company can provide Westinghouse with the technology and expertise to manufacture nuclear plant equipment and build new nuclear plants.
Westinghouse was originally founded in 1886 and became a leading manufacturer of nuclear plant equipment. The company has a long history of innovation in the nuclear industry and has developed some of the most advanced nuclear plant equipment in the world. Founded by George Westinghouse, the company was a backer of the alternating-current system in opposition of the direct-current system backed by Thomas Edison and other well-entrenched interests.