Bloomberg News

Toshiba to Hold Briefing on Westinghouse in London

February 06, 2006

Toshiba Corp., Japan's largest maker of nuclear power plant equipment, said it will hold a news conference on its purchase of Westinghouse Electric Co. in London this morning.

Atsutoshi Nishida, Toshiba's president, will attend the London conference at 10:45 a.m. local time, Toshiba said in a faxed statement today. The Tokyo-based company will hold a separate briefing in Tokyo on Feb. 8.

Nishida is looking to expand Toshiba's power plant operations in China and the U.S. as earnings from chips and consumer electronics slow amid increased competition. Westinghouse would give Toshiba the pressurized water reactor technology preferred by China, which may spend as much as $54 billion by 2020 on nuclear power plants.

Toshiba will pay $5.4 billion to acquire Westinghouse from British Nuclear Fuels Plc, the Wall Street Journal reported today, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. That compares with $5 billion, two people with knowledge of the discussions, who declined to be identified, said last month.

The Japanese company plans to buy a majority share, or about 51 percent, of Westinghouse, Sadazumi Ryu, an executive vice president, said at a news conference in Tokyo on Jan. 31. Toshiba may get funding help from domestic partners to pay for the purchase, he said, without elaborating.

Marubeni Corp., Japan's fifth-largest trading company, is in talks with Toshiba to invest in Westinghouse, Takashi Hashimoto, a spokesman at Tokyo-based Marubeni, said earlier today. Mitsui & Co. and Shaw Group Inc. were named as possible partners, according to the Nihon Keizai newspaper last month.

Mitsui spokesman Norio Kozuka earlier today declined to comment on matter.

China Plans

The Chinese government's plan to increase nuclear power capacity to 36,000 megawatts by 2020 will require an estimated 27 new 1,000-megawatt reactors costing about $2 billion each. More than $200 billion will be spent on nuclear power worldwide by 2030, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, an adviser to 26 of the world's largest energy users.

Toshiba is also the world's second-largest maker of NAND flash memory chips, which are used to store songs and video files in portable devices such as Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod nano.

To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Teo Chian Wei at cwteo@bloomberg.net.


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