Babcock aquires UKAEA

The UK Atomic Energy Authority has announced the sale of its commercial business UKAEA to Babcock International Group for £50m.

UKAEA has been part of the UK Atomic Energy Authority for the last 50 years and provides nuclear decommissioning, waste management and site environmental remediation services in the UK and abroad.

The sale follows an announcement in March 2009 that the UK Atomic Energy Authority was seeking a buyer for UKAEA. According to the organisation, the sale of the business will reinforce the UK’s reputation in the nuclear industry and provide an opportunity to further develop skills in the sector.

The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of the year following a strategic review performed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority. UKAEA will have cash balances of around £12m on completion.

Business secretary Peter Mandelson said: ‘The announcement is good news for UKAEA and its employees. The sale will allow the company, as part of Babcock International, to continue its development and take advantage of new opportunities in the nuclear industry. It also generates good value for the tax payer.’

Lady Judge, chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, added that the new ownership structure will help give UKAEA greater commercial focus on its operations and allow it to capitalise on its core skills.

Babcock, a London-based engineering support services group, has proven capabilities in the decommissioning of high-hazard facilities, encapsulation and storage of hazardous materials and transportation of waste in both the military and civil sectors.

Peter Rogers, chief executive of Babcock, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to announce the acquisition of UKAEA. The high level of skills and expertise in UKAEA will further accelerate the growth of our nuclear business. Babcock has an excellent track record of integrating acquisitions in the nuclear spectrum to deliver high levels of shareholder value. We are confident that with the UKAEA we will continue to build on this success.’