British engineering company Rolls-Royce is reported to be in talks with French company Framatome over the sale of its French nuclear business. Framatome is a subsidiary of EDF, France’s leading utility company.
The Financial Times reports that this was due to Rolls-Royce reshaping its operations and estimates that the value of its French assets at £200m. The company’s French business makes instruments to monitor radiation and temperature for nuclear reactors around the world.
The deal would not include the main aspects of Rolls-Royce’s UK business, which include its work on the planned nuclear plant at Hinkley Point Point C in Somerset and a project working on small modular reactors.
Rolls-Royce’s stock rose significantly on the London Stock Exchange this morning, up by 14p to 784p a share, a gain of 1.8% giving the company a market capitalisation of £15bn. The company’s share price has fluctuated significantly in 2019, reaching a high of 988.40p a share on 20 February with a low point of 730p a share on 7 August.
Both Rolls-Royce and Framatome declined to comment on the story.
Rolls-Royce and nuclear power
Rolls-Royce has been working in the nuclear sector for over 50 years. In the civil nuclear sector, the company provides site services as well as modern plant automation and monitoring solutions that it claims are able to give the user ‘millisecond accuracy’ for decision making.
Civil nuclear formed 5% of Rolls-Royce’s power systems business in 2018 according to the company’s annual report, accounting for just over £174m of power systems’ nearly £3.5bn underlying revenue, helping the sector have an operating profit of £317m.
According to the FT, Rolls-Royce is going through a period of restructuring under current chief executive Warren East. In June 2018, the firm announced 4,600 job cuts, mostly from its base in Derbyshire.