WASHINGTON (February 9, 2006) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP served as counsel for British Nuclear Fuels plc in BNFL's $5.4 billion sale of Westinghouse Electric Company to Toshiba Corporation. The purchase agreement was signed in London on Monday, February 6, 2006, and the deal is expected to close within six months.
Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse is the commercial power arm of BNFL, a leading nuclear energy company owned by the British government. Westinghouse designs, fuels and services pressurized-water nuclear reactors. Westinghouse is the leader in this important technology, utilized by half of the commercial nuclear plants in the world and 60 percent of all such plants in the U.S.
The $5.4 billion purchase price represents a significant return on BNFL's investment, as the company bought Westinghouse in 1999 for only $1.1 billion. Because the interest in nuclear power is growing rapidly, BNFL's announcement last summer that it would sell Westinghouse resulted in a highly competitive auction that attracted enormous attention. Toshiba won the right to buy Westinghouse by submitting the highest bid and prevailing over such industry giants as General Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
"The Westinghouse sale demonstrates the scope of Sutherland's international energy practice," said Sutherland Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. "An emphasis on client service and the ability to handle trans-border mergers and acquisitions are primary elements of our global strategy."
A cross-practice Sutherland team of more than 30 attorneys was led by Partner Mark D. Herlach, who was assisted by Partners George H. Bostick, Adam B. Cohen, James D. Darrow, Peter H. Dean, Mark D. Jackson, Paul D. Jacokes, Elisabeth A. Langworthy, James R. McGibbon, Michael R. Miles, Richard G. Murphy, Jr., Peter H. Rodgers, Gail L. Westover, and Dena E. Wiggins.
"This transaction will significantly alter the fabric of the nuclear industry," Mr. Herlach stated. "The Westinghouse acquisition represents a major commitment by Toshiba, the leading nuclear reactor builder in Japan, to the rekindled interest in nuclear energy as an essential component of the solution to the world's growing energy needs."
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a national 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 425 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington. For further information about the firm, please visit sutherland.com.