Canadian fund's Westinghouse buy to help rehabilitation: Toshiba

Toshiba was brought to its knees by delays and costs in building two reactors at the Vogtle plant in Georgia

Toshiba was brought to its knees by delays and costs in building two reactors at the Vogtle plant in Georgia Georgia Power Reuters

Ten months after Westinghouse Electric Company filed for bankruptcy protection, putting in jeopardy its construction work on two new nuclear power plants with AP1000 reactors for South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) in Jenkinsville, S.C., and two others for Georgia Power Company (owned by Southern Company) near Waynesboro, Ga., the company announced January 4 that it "has agreed to be acquired by Brookfield Business Partners L.P. together with institutional partners" for approximately $4.6 billion. Brookfield Business Partners L.P. Limited Partnership Units has a 1 year low of $23.66 and a 1 year high of $36.15.

Now Westinghouse has been sold for $4.6 billion to provate equity fund Brookfield Businees Partners.

"The decision to sell Westinghouse is good news for creditors, as well as our company", Toshiba said Friday.

The company, which is buying Westinghouse through its private equity unit Brookfield Business Partners, will fund the deal with $3 billion in debt and $1 billion in stocks, and it will also assume Westinghouse's pension and environmental commitments.

Representatives for Blackstone and Apollo weren't immediately available for comment. Those projects, plagued by delays and cost overruns, eventually led to its downfall, and Westinghouse has used the Chapter 11 process to distance itself from any obligations to them.

So why is Brookfield buying?

However, the company suffered after it agreed to build two plants in the U.S. Southeast on fixed-price contracts.

One of Westinghouse's unfinished USA projects, known as Vogtle in Georgia, will continue with Southern Co. replacing the company as the project manager.

And, as the only United States company granted permits for new nuclear power plants since the Three Mile Island mishap, Westinghouse is a major gatekeeper to the industry - if they can get their sh*t together. In past days, Dominion Energy Inc. has offered to buy Scana.

The officials say Westinghouse is a leader in its field and has an established customer base.

Toshiba acquired Westinghouse in 2006 for 5.4 billion dollars.

Toshiba has been majority owner of Westinghouse Electric since 2006 and achieved full ownership a year ago by buying a minority shareholder's 10 per cent stake for about US$522 million.

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