Saskatchewan’s Cameco Corp (TSX: CCO) (NYSE: CCJ) and Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (NYSE: BEP) (TSX: BEP-R) have acquired all necessary regulatory approvals for their joint acquisition of the prominent nuclear services provider Westinghouse Electric Company.
On Friday, Cameco said that the transaction, previously announced last October, was expected to close on November 7. The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority was one of the regulators that gave the deal the go-ahead.
Westinghouse is currently owned by Brookfield Business Partners LP (NYSE: BBU) (TSX: BBUC) prior to the upcoming transfer of ownership. Brookfield Business Partners is an investment arm of the company and Brookfield Renewable is concerned with decarbonization and alternative energy.
Cameco said in October last year that its expertise in uranium production and the nuclear industry combined with Brookfield’s clean energy knowledge would create a powerful platform for strategic growth in the nuclear sector through the acquisition and partnership.
“Partnering with Cameco brings deep nuclear sector expertise, alongside our knowledge of energy markets and global customer base, to form a formidable champion for nuclear power,” said Brookfield Renewable’s CEO Connor Teskey last year.
“We see significant potential to grow the business and deliver on broader growth in the nuclear power sector through our strategic partnership with Cameco,” he added.
Westinghouse is valued at approximately US$7.9 billion and the company will be leaving its US$4.5 billion debt structure in the hands of Cameco and Brookfield once the transaction concludes. That debt will be evenly split between the two acquisition partners.
We have #cleared the anticipated joint venture between Brookfield and Cameco to acquire Westinghouse.
Our full text decision on why we cleared the merger will be published in due course.
— Competition & Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) November 3, 2023
The Athabasca Basin is Cameco’s primary area of operation
Cameco is one of the top suppliers of uranium fuel for nuclear energy in the world. The company has land holdings spanning 1.9 million acres, the majority of which is situated near its operations in northern Saskatchewan.
Cameco operates the highest-grade uranium mine on Earth, located within Saskatchewan’s section of the Athabasca Basin. The company has a 54.5 per cent stake in the Cigar Lake uranium mine in partnership with the state-owned French uranium company Orano Group and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TYO: 9501).
Cigar Lake has produced 105 million pounds of uranium since it was commissioned in 2014. Commercial production started at the mine the following year.
The Athabasca Basin where the mine is located is arguably the best uranium mining jurisdiction in the world. The rising price of the radioactive metal combined with decarbonization initiatives worldwide is making the jurisdiction an increasingly attractive investment.
The Athabasca Basin has produced over 900 million pounds or triuranium octoxide (U3O8) since 1975 and is still largely underexplored. Other companies operating in the region include Skyharbour Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: SYH) (OTCQX: SYHBF), Basin Energy (ASX: BSN), Cosa Resources Corp. (TSX-V: COSA) (OTCQB: COSAF), Stallion Discoveries Corp. (TSX-V: STUD) (OTCQB: STLNF), Uranium Energy Corp (NYSE American: UEC), NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX: NXE) and IsoEnergy Ltd. (TSX-V: ISO).
ATHA Energy Corp. (CSE: SASK) (FRA: X5U) (OTCQB: SASKF) recently completed the largest electromagnetic survey in the history of the Athabasca Basin.
The company is actively processing a vast amount of data from the survey on its 3.4 million acre land package in the region and aims to have its highest-priority targets identified mid-way through next year. ATHA will then commence drill testing on them during the latter half of 2024.
ATHA’s land package is the largest in the Basin, roughly the size of Connecticut.
A recent mining jurisdiction survey conducted by Canada’s Fraser Institute found that Saskatchewan sat in spot number three for overall investment attractiveness globally. The vast majority of the Athabasca Basin is located in the province.
ATHA is well-funded in its mission to transfer from exploration to development in the region, currently having a cash position of $25 million.
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