EDF has secured approval from the European Commission (EC) for its proposed takeover of Areva Group's nuclear reactors business.

Following an investigation, the commission has concluded that the deal was in compliance with the anti-trust laws.

EDF intends to buy between 51% and 75% of the capital of New NP, which houses the Areva Group's nuclear reactors business.

New NP has been valued at €2.5bn ($2.8bn) following the transaction between Areva and EDF.

The EC stated: “EDF is the largest nuclear power plant operator in the EU, while New NP focuses on the design and supply of nuclear reactors and equipment, fuel assemblies, control systems and services to nuclear power plants.

“Although their activities do not overlap, the two companies are major players in the nuclear industry, the one as a supplier and the other a customer.”

The commission said that owing to the vertical relationships between New NP and EDF, the proposed takeover is not expected to raise competition issues in EU.

It said that an assessment was made particularly on the potential effects of the deal on the incentives and ability of the merged entity to involve in foreclosure strategies through restriction of access to products, services and equipment which are either designed or supplied by EDF and to New NP, as a customer.

The commission stated that there was no way EDF could restrict the supply of fuel assemblies and associated services to other nuclear power plant operators in the European Economic Area, which would otherwise be breaching of existing contracts.

Image: Computer-generated image of Areva's EPR reactor. Photo: courtesy of AREVA.