Government wishes to sell shares in URENCO

The Dutch government wishes to sell its interest in URENCO, which provides uranium enrichment services for nuclear power producers. The Cabinet has agreed to this intention. The sale of the Dutch shares in URENCO can only take place, when the public interest in terms of non-proliferation, nuclear safety and supply security has been effectively safeguarded.

Currently the Netherlands is discussing this with treaty partners Germany and the British government and with the other shareholders. The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and RWE/E.ON all hold one third of the shares in URENCO.

The Dutch government’s intention arises from expected changes in the share ownership of the company. URENCO’s German shareholders have decided to consider selling their shares. Recently the British government also made public that it wishes to sell its shares in URENCO.

In the current situation, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom as public shareholders jointly hold the majority of the shares. Thus they can exert sufficient supervision of the company and effectively safeguard the public interest. A possible sale by the other two fellow shareholders to, most likely, private parties could lead to a situation in which there is no longer a majority of public shareholders. The Cabinet holds the view that such a position is undesirable.

The starting point for a sale is that the public interest in question can be safeguarded in another way other than by share ownership. If this is possible, the government can proceed to sell its shares in URENCO. Together with the other shareholders therefore preparations for the sale of shares have begun. The Dutch government expects to see positive interest in the sale of its shares.