VT in 75m deal for BNG decommissioning arm

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The Independent Online

VT Group took another step away from its shipbuilding heritage yesterday after agreeing to pay up to 75m for the nuclear decommissioning arm of British Nuclear Group.

Paul Lester, chief executive of the former Vosper Thorneycroft, said the acquisition BNG Project Services, its first in the sector, was a logical next step in the company's transformation into a supplier of support services to local councils, the MoD, and with the latest deal, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

"This fits with our plans to widen our model of engineering support services. We needed the [nuclear] engineers, and this gives us 550 top-notch engineers."

VT agreed to pay 45m upfront, plus up to 30m if certain performance thresholds are reached.

The NDA has a current annual budget of 1.1bn and decommissioning costs could reach 75bn by 2035.

Mr Lester said that he bought the company under the assumption that the Government would approve the construction of a generation of new nuclear power stations. That decision is expected in the new year. Ultimately, VT would like to generate 50 per cent of the unit's revenue from outside the UK.