Paris (AFP) Jan 7, 2010
The French state-controlled nuclear engineering group Areva is about to shed its 25.78-percent interest in nickel mining company Eramet to the strategic investment fund (FSI), press reports said on Thursday.
Eramet, which notably has big nickel mining interests in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, would transfer its interest imminently to the FSI, an entity created by the French state as a sovereign wealth fund to invest in companies.
The newspaper Le Figaro said that talks had been underway for months.
Dow Jones Newswires quoted a source as saying that the transaction could be concluded in the first quarter of the year for about 1.0 billion euros (694 million dollars).
Areva declined to comment to AFP beyond saying that in June the group had considered disposing of its holding, while assuyring that the holding would remain under French state control given its strategic nature.
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Bulgaria shuts nuclear reactor for maintenance
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