Log In

Reset Password

Westinghouse owner may sell minority stake in company

But firm plans to maintain control

CRANBERRY TWP — The Canadian investment firm that owns Westinghouse came short of refuting reports it seeks to sell a minority stake in the Cranberry-based nuclear power company, but noted it is “in no rush to sell” the entire nuclear firm.

In an earnings call May 5, Brookfield Business Partners CEO Cyrus Madon said the investment firm currently intends to “maintain at least control of this company for a long period of time” in response to an investor's question, adding that Westinghouse is currently poised prominently in its industry and provides the firm with cash revenue. Madon outlined, however, how a potential sale would look.

“If we do decide to sell, we'll probably look to sell a minority interest or something like that, but otherwise we're very, very pleased with the business and think it has considerable upsides from here, from what we've already achieved,” Madon said.

The CEO added Westinghouse Electric has increased the investment company's cash flow, saying the company is “a great company” with quality management and great market position.

That statement came after Reuters and others reported Brookfield was exploring selling a minority stake in the nuclear firm, which could value the company at as much as $10 billion. According to Reuters, Brookfield has engaged investment banks to seek potential buyers, although its unidentified sources cautioned there was no certainty it would sell any stake.

Madon had alluded to a potential sale in the future during a Feb. 5 call with investors, saying Brookfield “certainly will test the market” at “some point in time.”

“We could sell part of the company — or all of the company, I suppose — if we wanted to,” he said in February. “We could hang onto it and continue milking these incredible cash flows, but it will all come down to: What's the value we can get versus what we can create by keeping it?”

Brookfield purchased Westinghouse Electric from Toshiba in 2018 — for about $4.6 billion — after the nuclear power company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Currently, Brookfield controls 100% of the voting power in the company and owns roughly 45% of the company itself.

In February, Madon said the investment firm had nearly captured all of its initial equity investment in the company, having received more than $370 million in dividends in just two-and-a-half years.

Chief operating officer Denis Turcotte said the company is poised to excel in the coming years with public views of shifting toward carbon-neutral power sources.

“You're starting to see sentiment shift in a positive direction more broadly — whether it be in the public press, whether it be in even different stakeholder groups, environmental groups, et cetera, that tend to often sway public opinion,” Turcotte said. “(They're) all starting to recognize that, if the world wants to achieve zero carbon, it will only be through expanding nuclear capacity. There's no other way around it.”