Frances Areva threatens suit over Siemens-Rosatom joint venture

Publish date: March 3, 2009

No sooner had Germany’s Siemens AG announced major steps toward a joint venture with Russian state nuclear state corporation Rosatom than Areva, Siemans former joint venture partner threatened legal action on the basis that Siemens is in violation of a noncompete clause, reported.

The Siemens-Rosatom joint venture plans to further develop Russian pressurized-water reactor technology and will handle marketing, sales and the construction of new nuclear power plants as well as modernization and upgrades of existing plants. Rosatom will hold the majority stake with 50 percent plus one share.

Siemens recently announced it would exit its agreement with France’s state-controlled Areva and will wind down their joint venture, Areva NP, by 2012. Siemens holds a 34 percent stake in the nuclear venture, which Areva will pay for.

A report in the Financial Times said Areva estimated the 34 percent at €2 billion ($2.5 billion) at the end of 2007, but analysts have said the stake’s current value has risen, helped by prospects of rising worldwide demand for nuclear reactors.