Toshiba Eyes Nuclear Power Alliance

Toshiba Eyes Nuclear Power Alliance

May sell as much as 16% of Westinghouse stake Aims to tap demand in emerging markets Japan's demand for nuclear reactors waned after quake and tsunami

Toshiba (IW 1000/39) plans to sell some of its controlling stake in nuclear-power unit Westinghouse Electric as it looks to form an alliance to tap demand in emerging markets, reports said Tuesday.

The Japanese engineering giant, which holds about 67% of Westinghouse, said it would sell as much as 16% of the U.S. firm to buyers with a foothold in nations eager to build nuclear plants, after demand in post-Fukushima Japan fell away.

"While keeping our stake at more than 50%, we are considering selling the rest to a potential partner," Toshiba spokesman Atsushi Ido told Dow Jones Newswires.

Toshiba's plan was part of a strategy aimed at building an alliance with multiple partners to help tap China and other emerging nations, the top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

The demand for new reactors in Japan vanished after last year's March 11 quake-tsunami disaster sparked reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the worst atomic crisis in a generation.

In the wake of the crisis, Japan switched off its stable of 50 nuclear reactors. It has since restarted two reactors, sparking huge protests amid a wave of anti-nuclear sentiment.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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