Toshiba plans $5 b bid for Areva unit

Toshiba, which runs a far-flung electronics conglomerate, is banking on power generation for growth as it reins in investment in its recession-hit computer chip business.
Areva has put its transmission and distribution (T&D) business on the block and is seeking to sell 15 per cent of the group’s capital to fuel its nuclear expansion plans.
The government will play a major role in both decision for the 91-per cent state-owned firm, already a global leader in nuclear technology.

A French industry ministry spokesman did not immediately return calls for comment on how the state would view a foreign buyer for Areva’s T&D business.
First-round bidding for Areva’s transmission and distribution (T&D) unit — No 3 in its field after ABB and Siemens — is expected to begin in mid-September.
Declared bidders so far include French engineering groups Alstom and Schneider Electric, who are planning a joint offer. Axa Private Equity is considering making an offer with financial or industrial partners.

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