WASHINGTON (October 16, 2006) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP represented British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) in its $5.4 billion sale of Westinghouse Electric Company to Toshiba Corporation. With the deal that closed today, Toshiba, one of Japan's largest industrial groups, has substantially increased its stake in the resurgent global nuclear industry.
UK-based British Nuclear Fuels relied on Sutherland's counsel as it looked for buyers for Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse. Westinghouse is the premier designer of pressurized water nuclear reactors, and interest in the sale was strong. Toshiba's winning bid, roughly three times what industry observers had predicted the business would bring, represents a significant return on BNFL's investment. Sutherland also represented BNFL when it bought Westinghouse in 1999 for $1.1 billion.
"The combination of Westinghouse and Toshiba represents a realignment of key players in the nuclear industry, and Sutherland's involvement in bringing this high-profile deal successfully to closure is a prime example of the skill and teamwork that clients have come to expect from our firm," said Mark D. Wasserman, Sutherland's Managing Partner.
More than 40 Sutherland attorneys in multiple offices worked on the transaction. The firm ran a 24-hour electronic data room with global access, which allowed potential buyers to do their due diligence from around the world. This electronic data room facilitated negotiations because multiple parties were able to review documents simultaneously, with hundreds of users accessing the data room at once.
"The deal is not only significant for the large price tag, but because of the key role Westinghouse is anticipated to play in the nuclear energy sector in the future," said Partner Mark D. Herlach, who has represented BNFL since 1995 and led the Sutherland team in this endeavor. "The majority of nuclear reactors worldwide utilize Westinghouse technology, and the company's AP1000 reactor is the leading design likely to be deployed by utilities in coming years."
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the world's largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 450 lawyers, with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington. For further information about the firm, please visit sutherland.com.