UPDATE 2-Hitachi near British nuclear project deal -sources

Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:58pm EDT
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* Hitachi made best offer, looks set to win -source

* Expected to finalise, announce deal on Tuesday -media

By James Topham and Tom Käckenhoff

TOKYO/DUESSELDORF, Germany, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Hitachi Ltd , Japan's largest industrial electronics maker, is close to buying British nuclear new-build project Horizon, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

"Hitachi has made the best offer and has a good chance to get Horizon," a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another person with knowledge of the proceedings also said Hitachi, which is leading a consortium bidding for the project, was likely to be the winner.

Japanese media said on Saturday the deal was expected to be worth more than 50 billion yen ($628.5 million) while analysts have put the value of Horizon at about 500 million euros ($646.6 million).

Horizon, which plans to build 6 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear capacity, was put up for sale by its owners, German utilities E.ON and RWE, in March, as Germany's decision to pull out of nuclear power hurt their finances.

Hitachi is expected to hold a board meeting on Tuesday to approve the deal and officially announce it later that day, both the Asahi daily newspaper and Kyodo newswire reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.   Continued...