Westinghouse emerging from bankruptcy, will pursue foreign sales

The U.S. nuclear company Westinghouse will target Saudi Arabia and India for nuclear reactor sales once it emerges from bankruptcy, with sufficient equity in the coming weeks.

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Brookfield Asset Management in January agreed to buy struggling Westinghouse from Toshiba for $4.6 billion. Cost overruns at U.S. reactors pushed the once iconic industrial giant into bankruptcy.

Westinghouse CEO Jose Gutierrez told Reuters that the Brookfield deal would close as soon as it had been approved by U.S. and British nuclear regulators and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

"We are confident we will get those approvals in the next few weeks, we don't see any roadblocks," he said.

When the deal is closed the company will emerge from bankruptcy and Brookfield will recapitalize the firm.

Gutierrez said that Westinghouse didn’t lose a single contract during its bankruptcy to sell services, fuel and spare parts to almost 80% of the world’s 450 reactors and that the company will immediately pursue additional business. It is also resuming talks with India on the sale of six reactors, Gutierrez told Reuters.

China also holds major opportunities for the company. It plans to start-up the first of four long-delayed AP1000 reactors this year. Projects for six more are pending and Westinghouse expects China will build a fleet of at least 20 additional in the coming decade.

A U.S.-India agreement 10 years ago set a project in the country in motion, and now with the company emerging from Chapter 11, Gutierrez said that they will resume conversations with India.

Westinghouse is also waiting for Saudi Arabia to decide on a shortlist of bidders to build two nuclear plants.