The former chief executive of Areva, the French nuclear group, has been placed under formal investigation in France over her role in an ill-fated acquisition of a number of African uranium mines. Anne Lauvergeon spent the day on Friday answering questions in front of national prosecutors over whether she deliberately submitted misleading annual accounts that concealed huge writedowns on its 1.8bn euro investment in Uramin in 2007. Following the hearing she was placed under formal investigation for the “publication of inaccurate accounts” and the “spreading of false information”, the office of the French prosecutors told the Financial Times. Areva bought UraMin, a Canada-based company with assets in Namibia, the Central African Republic and South Africa, when uranium was about $138 a pound in 2007. In 2011 the company wrote off nearly the entire stake as prices dropped following the Fukushima disaster.
FT 13th May 2016 read more »