UK competition watchdog looks at Cameco-Westinghouse deal

02 August 2023

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has invited comments on the proposed Cameco and Brookfield Renewable Partners acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company as it considers whether the deal "may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition" in the United Kingdom.

(Image: CMA)

In a statement on its website, the CMA said that for the next two weeks, until 16 August, it is running an 'Invitation to Comment' on the deal, adding that it was "considering whether it is, or may be the case, that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services".

"To assist it with this assessment, the CMA invites comments on the transaction from any interested party," it added.

Cameco said this was part of the standard regulatory approval process for such transactions and added that it expected the deal to close by the end of the year.

The proposed deal, unveiled in October 2022, was for a strategic partnership of Cameco and Brookfield Renewable Partners to acquire Westinghouse for a total enterprise value of approximately USD8 billion. It would see Brookfield Renewable, together with its institutional partners, own a 51% interest in Westinghouse and Cameco own 49%.

Westinghouse is one of the world's largest nuclear services businesses, and can trace its energy industry roots back more than 100 years. Brookfield Business Partners acquired Westinghouse out of bankruptcy in 2018.  Today, the company has four key business lines which include providing services for outages and maintenance, engineering solutions, and replacement components and parts; long-term contracting for the manufacture and installation of fuel assemblies and ancillary equipment for light-water reactors; designing, engineering and supporting the development of new nuclear reactors; and providing environmental services which support nuclear sustainability, environmental stewardship and remediation. It is the original equipment manufacturer for around half the world's nuclear power plants.

Canada's Cameco is one of the largest global providers of uranium fuel "with interests in tier-one mining and milling operations that have the licensed capacity to produce more than 30 million pounds (our share) of uranium concentrates annually, backed by more than 469 million pounds (our share) of proven and probable mineral reserves. We are also a leading supplier of uranium refining, conversion and fuel manufacturing services".

The company's second quarter financial results were released on Wednesday, with Cameco CEO and President Tim Gitzel saying: "We are invested across the nuclear fuel cycle, and are looking forward to closing the Westinghouse acquisition with our partner Brookfield Renewable Partners, which we expect will occur later this year. We will continue to do what we said we would do, executing on our strategy, and, consistent with our values, we will do so in a manner we believe will make our business sustainable over the long-term."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News