ABB to sell nuclear business to BNFL

ABB continues strategic shift in business portfolio

Zurich, Switzerland, December 29, 1999 – ABB, the global technology group, and nuclear technology company BNLF today announced that BNFL will purchase ABB’s nuclear power businesses. The value of the transaction is US$ 485 million. The sale is subject to the customary regulatory approvals.

Under the terms of the agreement, U.K.-based BNFL will purchase ABB’s worldwide nuclear systems businesses, headquartered in the United States in Windsor, Connecticut. Apart from the U.S., ABB’s main nuclear operations are in Sweden, France, and Germany. The divested businesses also include nuclear control systems. In total, the divested businesses employ about 3,000 people and reported revenues in 1998 of about US$ 500 million.

Göran Lindahl, ABB President and CEO, said the divestiture is in line with ABB’s strategy to expand in knowledge and service sectors, and to focus on those businesses where clear synergies can be created. “We think BNFL is in a solid position to develop the nuclear business, while we concentrate on those areas where we can combine our expertise across a broad range of industries and tap our global presence for greater growth,” Lindahl said. “That means delivering intelligent solutions in, for example, industrial automation, service, power transmission and distribution, building systems, oil, gas and petrochemicals, and in financial services.”

BNFL Chief Executive John Taylor said: “This acquisition builds on BNFL’s purchase earlier this year of Westinghouse Electric Company and represents an opportunity to offer an even broader range of services to our customers and to build value for our shareholder.”
“ABB’s nuclear power businesses fit well with those of the BNFL Group in both product and geographic scope,” Taylor said. “The acquisition expands our technology portfolio by bringing ABB’s boiling water reactor (BWR) systems into our product mix which we will be able to offer to our customers. This move also allows us to further expand our activities in the U.S., Europe and Asia, enabling us to provide our customers with a broader range of product and service offerings supplied by an expanded global sales and service organization.”

In addition to nuclear products, services and technology, BNFL will also acquire ABB’s strong presence in Asia where, among other things, the company has delivered eight Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) to Korea. In the United States and Europe, ABB’s nuclear plant design, fuel and service capabilities will expand those offered by the BNFL Group through the Westinghouse Electric Company.

Earlier this year, ABB merged most of its power generation business into a 50-50 joint venture with ALSTOM of France, called ABB ALSTOM POWER. Following the divestment of its nuclear business, ABB’s remaining power generation business will focus on renewable energy and distributed power.

BNFL is a leading specialist in nuclear technology and a global supplier of nuclear fuel, products and services.

ABB is a global technology company serving customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; industrial products and contracting; and in financial services. Power generation customers are served by the joint venture ABB ALSTOM POWER. The ABB Group employs about 170,000 people in more than 100 countries. (End)

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