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Areva secures bridging loan to survive 2016
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Feb 25, 2016

France's struggling nuclear giant Areva said Thursday it has secured a 1.1 billion euros bridging loan from six banks, and pushed back the publication of its annual results by a day.

The company said in a brief statement that the loans, which would help it stay afloat in 2016, were being finalised.

"As a result the publication of the 2015 results have been postponed by 24 hours," read the statement.

The new loan will allow the group, which is six billion euros in debt, to pay back some 1.3 billion euros this year.

The former jewel in the crown of France's huge nuclear energy industry has already predicted strong losses in 2015 of up to 1.5 billion euros, after a record loss of 4.8 billion euros in 2014.

To ensure its survival, Areva is planning a five billion euro capital increase to stabilise its finances as it finalises the takeover of its reactor arm by state-backed electricity utility EDF.

The French government, Areva's largest shareholder with an 87 percent stake, will subscribe to the capital increase, the company announced in January.

Demand for nuclear power has slumped since the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, and Areva has been hit by cost overruns and difficulties building new reactors in Flamanville, northwestern France, and in Finland.

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