UK’s imminent sale of uranium producer to bring in billions

British taxpayers could net as much as $4.6 billion with the government’s sale of its multi billion-dollar stake in nuclear power giant Urenco, a move that has been under consideration for several years and which aims to solidify the country’s policy to end national ownership of nuclear businesses.

News of the imminent sale of the stake in the $12 to $16 billion power giant came last Monday, when the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a brief note in its website. It said it had invited financial advisers to join discussions about the potential sales of the UK's stake in the enriched uranium producer.

Urenco is one third owned by the British government, with the rest divided between the Netherlands and two major German utilities, Eon and RWE.

According to The Telegraph, the beauty parade includes big names such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Rothschild and UBS, with Credit Suisse acting for the Dutch government, and Bank of America and Merrill Lynch for the German stakeholders.

With a share of almost 30% of the global uranium enrichment market, Urenco has an order book of over $25 billion. Last year, the uranium producer had pre-tax profits of $963 million.

DECC said the government expects to appoint financial advisers in "five to six weeks." However, it noted, "No final decision has been made."