March 17, 2013 / 2:32 PM / in 5 years

Canada Pension Plan eyes nuclear fuel producer Urenco: paper

LONDON (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), one of the world’s biggest pension funds, could be interested in bidding for nuclear fuel producer Urenco, the Sunday Times reported without citing sources.

German police officers stand guard outside the German uranium enrichment plant of URENCO Ltd. in the western German town of Gronau close to the Dutch/German border in North-Rhine Westphalia March 11, 2012. Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

CPPIB, which manages Canada’s national pension fund, declined to comment on the article.

The Dutch government, which co-owns Urenco with the British government and German utilities RWE (RWEG.DE) and E.ON (EONGn.DE), has now dropped its opposition to a sale of the firm, the Sunday Times also reported, citing sources close to the talks.

Cameco (CCO.TO), a Canadian uranium producer, is also weighing an offer for Urenco, said the Sunday Times. Sources told Reuters in January that France’s Areva AREVA.PA and Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T) were considering bids for the company.

The newspaper said that Areva was holding talks with private equity firms including Apax and CVC, regarding a possible joint offer for Urenco, and that Morgan Stanley had been appointed to handle the sale, with a float also a possibility.

Analysts estimate that the Buckinghamshire, UK-based uranium enrichment firm is worth between 2.5 billion euros and 3.6 billion euros ($3.27 billion to $4.70 billion), but some of the sellers are hoping for as much as 12 billion euros.

Urenco and Areva were not immediately available for comment. ($1 = 0.7654 euros)

Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Alison Birrane

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