Brookfield Business Partners to buy Westinghouse for $4.6 billion

Brookfield Business Partners to buy Westinghouse for $4.6 billion

Brookfield Business Partners to buy Westinghouse for $4.6 billion

Westinghouse Electric, the US nuclear unit of embattled Japanese electronics giant Toshiba, has been acquired in a deal valued at about out $4.6 billion. The deal is supposed to be concluded by the third quarter of this year. A portion of Brookfield Business Partners' investment may be syndicated to other institutional investors.

Brookfield is using $1 billion of equity and $3 billion of debt to buy Westinghouse.

Representatives for Blackstone and Apollo weren't immediately available for comment.

Despite the nuclear fallout, Canadian investment giant Brookfield said the "iconic American company" is a "high quality business" which generates most of its profitability through long-term service contracts.

The deal excludes the two projects which helped bring down the company founded by George Westinghouse in 1866: plans to build four of its AP1000 reactors for USA utilities in SC and Georgia. Brookfield also agreed to buy significant assets in the wind and solar energy industry that had been ensnared in SunEdison Inc.'s bankruptcy.

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"Westinghouse is a high-quality business that has established itself as a leader in its field, with a long-term customer base and a reputation for innovation", Cyrus Madon, CEO of Brookfield Business Partners, said in the statement.

One of Westinghouse's unfinished US projects, known as Vogtle in Georgia, will continue with Southern Co. replacing the company as the project manager. Throughout the process, Westinghouse will continue to operate in the ordinary course of business under its existing senior management. Instead, delays and overruns led to troubles that left Westinghouse's former parent, Toshiba Corp., fighting for survival past year after writing down the value of the unit by billions.

Westinghouse Electric, which has its headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, is among the world's leading infrastructure suppliers to nuclear power generating facilities but sought creditor protection from U.S. Bankruptcy Court last March.

Toshiba bought Westinghouse in 2006 for over $5bn, but due to decline in the oil and renewable energy prices, the business lost its profitability.

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