Nuclear firm Urenco Group seeks comms help as sell-off looms

A nuclear power company part-owned by the UK Government is on the hunt for PR help ahead of an expected sell-off.

Fukushima disaster: stalled Urenco's sell-off   (PA Photos)
Fukushima disaster: stalled Urenco's sell-off (PA Photos)

Urenco Group, which operates uranium enrichment plants across the UK, Germany, Netherlands and the US, is one third owned by the UK Government.

It is understood that the group has held talks with a number of City PR specialists in recent weeks.

Last year, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said that the Government was looking to divest its Urenco stake, potentially netting the Treasury up to £3bn.

In what would be seen as a major rebalancing of energy policy, discussions are understood to have taken place over using the proceeds of an Urenco sale to fund The Green Investment Bank, which will invest in low carbon technology.

The planned Urenco sell-off stalled after Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in March, but the process is now thought to be back on.

Some weekend reports suggested a public float was being prepared, but sources familiar with the process said that a sale remained the most likely outcome.

The brief does not specifically call for support through a sale or IPO process, but acknowledges that the company is facing a period of 'strategic change'.

Urenco currently uses HeadLand Consultancy to support its financial PR, but the company issued its RFP to a number of larger City PR heavyweights.

Jayne Hallett, head of group comms at Urenco and Howard Lee, Headland co-founder, were unavailable for comment when PRWeek went to press.

Urenco is one-third owned by the UK Government, one-third by the Dutch government and the balance owned by German energy firms E.ON and RWE.

TIME LINE

November 2011 Urenco plans a stock market listing, according to media reports.

October 2011 Reports suggest the value placed on Urenco is as much as £10bn.

March 2011 Urenco sale put on hold after Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

October 2009 PM Gordon Brown announces that the Government plans to sell its stake in Urenco.

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