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Toshiba raises stake in Westinghouse to 87%

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 12:38 p.m.

Toshiba Corp. said it will go ahead with a deal to raise its stake in nuclear power subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Co. despite uncertainty about the future of the technology in Japan after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

The Japanese electronics maker said Wednesday it will purchase another 20 percent stake from U.S.-based Shaw Group for $1.6 billion, raising Toshiba's ownership to 87 percent. Shaw paid $1.08 billion for its share of Westinghouse in 2006.

The deal with Shaw was announced in September 2011.

About 10 percent of Westinghouse is owned by Kazatamprom, a state-owned uranium company in Kazakhstan, which acquired its stake from Toshiba in 2007. Another Japanese company, Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., a heavy-machine maker, owns a 3 percent share of Westinghouse, which it acquired for about $160 million in 2006.

Westinghouse is under contract to supply four nuclear reactors in the United States and four in China, and is talking with potential partners to expand its business.

Westinghouse designed 62 of the 104 nuclear reactors in the United States and roughly 45 percent of the world's 440 nuclear reactors. The company employs about 14,000 people, including about 6,000 in Western Pennsylvania, mostly at its headquarters in Cranberry.

Toshiba acquired control of Westinghouse in 2006 from British Nuclear Fuels plc in a $4.2 billion deal. BNFL acquired Westinghouse in 1999 for $1.2 billion from CBS Corp.

Public worries about atomic energy surged in Japan after the tsunami last year set off multiple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

None of those reactors were supplied by Westinghouse.

All of Japan's reactors were put offline, but two were brought back earlier this year. The Japanese government is targeting a phase-out of nuclear power by 2040.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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