RWE and E.on prepare to sell UK nuclear project
Advisers approached but sales process could stretch into next year
German energy giants RWE and E.on have kicked off plans to sell their UK nuclear power plant joint venture. It is understood that they have asked a select number of corporate advisers, accountants and investment banks to come up with ideas of how they would sell Horizon Nuclear Power.
Requests for proposals were sent out just before the Easter break, a week after the German duo rocked government plans for a new wave of nuclear power plants by announcing they could no longer afford to participate in the programme.
This has led to speculation from nuclear's many critics that the coalition's energy policies are doomed to failure. However, it is believed that there are a number of overseas parties that are interested in at least taking a stake in Horizon, which is expected to fetch £250m.
The problem for whoever is asked to run the sale – and that appointment could be made as soon as this week – is that they will effectively have to develop a market for the business. Few energy or investment companies would be willing to risk developing Horizon's proposed stations in North Wales and South Gloucestershire on their own, as their construction could cost more than £15bn by the time the second opens in 2025.
An industry source said: "This is a seriously proper corporate sales mandate where [the selected adviser] will have to create the bidders. RWE and E.on are inviting parties to bid that can think clearly who the runners and riders might be and how you put them together into some disorderly gangs to bid for Horizon."
It is not clear which advisers have been approached, but it is thought that Rothschild and Nomura are probable candidates. At least one of the big four accountants are also believed to have been approached.
Because of the complicated nature of the business, which still has to choose the reactor designs it will use as well as the prospect of heated planning application battles, the sale process could stretch into 2013.
Unless the eventual winning venture can make up the time in improved programme management, this would mean that the first of Horizon's proposed stations, Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey, will start generating electricity in 2022 rather than 2021. Any delay will worry the Government because of the prospect of a widening gap between energy demand and supply.
This is not the only sales mandate at present attracting rainmakers.
Mining giant Rio Tinto is in talks with a number of investment banks over the possible auction of its $2bn (£1.26bn) diamond business.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£55000 - £70000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Corporat...
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: In-House Opportu...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...