[Machine translation] The Chinese group CNNC will not participate in the capital increase of Areva. The requirements of the French State were unacceptable to the Chinese nuclear specialist. A small diplomatic crisis between the two countries. It is a small earthquake in Franco-Chinese relations. CNNC, a Chinese nuclear specialist, will not participate in the capital increase of Areva, according to several sources close to the French group. “The Chinese were not ready to enter the capital on the conditions set by the French state,” said one of them. Friday will be held the general meeting of shareholders which will ratify a capital increase of 5 billion euros of which 500 million will be contributed by the Japanese groups Mitsubishi and JNFL. The government will pay the balance of 4.5 billion euros. Contacted, Areva and Bercy did not wish to comment. For two months, discussions had strained between the two parties. The French government imposed strong governance requirements on all investors. First source of conflict: he refused to have their representative on Areva’s board of directors. Only an independent director was granted. “The reality is that Bercy did not want Chinese on the board,” a CNNC resident said, asking that their administrator be French and resident in France. Second obstacle: France wanted Chinese and Japanese investors to hold the same stake in Areva, ie 10%. Opposite, CNNC asked to be the first shareholder behind the French state. A very strong point of tension when we know the abysmal diplomatic relations that exist between the two countries. In December, the Japanese had accepted all the demands of France, putting a little more pressure on their Chinese opponents. But despite long negotiations, Bercy did not yield. “The Chinese were asking too much,” said a relative of Areva. In mid-January, Areva’s president, Philippe Varin, and its managing director, Philippe Knoche, traveled to China to try to find an ultimate understanding. They returned empty-handed.
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