Japan's Hitachi to buy Horizon for $628 mln: reports

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 27 2012 07:40 PM | Updated as of Oct 28 2012 08:15 PM

TOKYO - Japanese engineering giant Hitachi is set to buy Horizon, a joint venture planning to build nuclear reactors in Britain, in a deal valued at 50 billion yen ($628 million), reports said Saturday.

The Japanese firm has nearly finalised an agreement with the firm's German owners, RWE and E.ON, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said without citing sources.

Hitachi is seeking to expand its nuclear power business overseas after the Fukushima nuclear accident last year effectively wiped out demand for new reactors in Japan, Kyodo News said.

The German utilities launched Horizon in 2009 but this March decided to sell the unit following Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster.

Hitachi has teamed up with Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin to make the bid, which is said to be stronger than a rival bid by US-based Westinghouse, controlled by Japan's Toshiba, the Nikkei newspaper said.

Hitachi will officially announce its bid after a board meeting slated for Tuesday, the Asahi said.

Company officials were not immediately available to comment on the reports.

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