Brookfield to buy Westinghouse for US$4.6bn

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

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PRIVATE equity firm Brookfield Business Partners has bought troubled nuclear firm Westinghouse Electric Company from its owner Toshiba in a deal worth US$4.6bn.

Brookfield says that the deal will be financed with US$1bn of equity, US$3bn of long-term debt financing and the balance by the assumption of pension, environmental and other operating obligations. Company CEO Cyrus Madon said that Westinghouse is a “high-quality business that has established itself as a leader in its field”. He added that Brookfield would use its expertise as a critical infrastructure operator to cement Westinghouse’s position.

Westinghouse filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in March 2017, partially blaming cost and time overruns at two US nuclear plants in Georgia and South Carolina. Toshiba was also accused of paying too much for Westinghouse in 2006 (US$5.4bn), while the concerns about nuclear generation following the Fukushima accident were also cited by analysts.

“Brookfield’s acquisition of Westinghouse reaffirms our position as the leader of the global nuclear industry,” said Westinghouse president and CEO José Emeterio Gutiérrez. “Our transformation and strategic restructuring process is creating a stronger, stable, and more streamlined global Westinghouse business, for the benefit of our customers and employees.”

The deal is expected to close in Q3 2018, subject to regulatory and bankruptcy court approval.

SCANA, a partner in one of the collapsed Westinghouse nuclear projects, VC Summer in South Carolina, yesterday merged with Dominion Energy in an all-stock deal worth US$14.6bn. The deal included a compensation package for domestic SCANA electricity customers affected by the cancellation of the project.

Article by Helen Tunnicliffe

Senior reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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