UK government appoints Morgan Stanley to lead £3bn Urenco sale
The Government’s bid to capitalise on the value of nuclear company Urenco will step up a gear today as it appoints banking advisers to lead a £3bn sale.
Urenco, which is head-quartered in Buckinghamshire, enriches uranium to provide fuel for nuclear power utilities, making any sale politically sensitive.
The company is one-third owned by the UK, with the rest split between the Dutch government and German utilities E.on and RWE.
All current owners are seen as likely to sell, with estimates suggesting the entire of Urenco could be worth £8bn-£10bn.
Sovereign wealth funds, pension funds or other nuclear companies are seen as possible buyers, although the sellers would have to satisfy “non-proliferation” obligations to ensure that nuclear technology does not end up in inappropriate hands.
Morgan Stanley declined to comment.
Separately yesterday, final bids were submitted for Horizon, the UK nuclear new-build venture being sold by RWE and E.on, as part of an asset-sale programme to help ease debts.
The Horizon sale will also be politically sensitive, with two Chinese corporations understood to be among the bidders.