News agency Reuters reports that disagreements over valuation and charges related to the Olkiluoto nuclear plant project are likely to delay EDF's acquisition of Areva's nuclear reactor business until next year.
In July EDF agreed to buy 51 to 75 % of the Areva NP reactor unit based on a value for the division of €2.7 billion ($2.96 billion).
But sources within EDF told Reuters that the company had revised that valuation down to 2.2-2.3 billion in recent months, and that a firm offer would likely follow next year, instead of in Q4 2015 as originally planned.
It appears that the two sides disagree substantially about the value of the NP unit, mainly because of delays and cost overruns at the Finnish Olkiluoto III project.
The EPR reactor Areva is building in Finland is years behind schedule and billions over budget and has led Areva and its Finnish customer Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) to claim billions of euros in damages from one another.
The lack of certainty caused by these claims is causing the most difficulty in negotiations. EDF has ruled out taking on the Olkiluoto-related liabilities. And the French government, the majority owner of both parties, has to face the possibility that any guarantees it provides will be considered illegal state aid.
Areva is 87% state-owned, and EDF 84.5%. Finnish utility TVO has lodged a €2.6 billion claim against the Areva-led EPR consortium at the International Chamber of Commerce's arbitration court. Areva-Siemens has a €3.4 billion counter-claim.