By Daniel Hunter

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon today (Monday) announced that the government is proceeding with plans to sell some or all of its one-third shareholding in the uranium enrichment company Urenco.

The decision to proceed towards a sale comes after the government has secured agreement from its Dutch and German partners.

Building on work over a number of years, the sale supports the government’s strategy to dispose of public assets that do not require public ownership. Funds released from a sale can then be used to meet the government’s priorities of achieving strong and sustainable growth across the country.

Any sale will only be concluded if the government is satisfied that the UK’s security and non-proliferation interests can be protected and that value for money is achieved for the UK taxpayer.

“Urenco is a world leading, high technology company with strong earnings and the time is right for government to sell its stake. It makes good commercial sense now and is consistent with our position that assets should be sold where ownership itself does not deliver any policy objective," Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said.

“Our priority is to ensure taxpayers’ money is being used in the most effective way to boost economic growth. Any sale will make sure we deliver value for money and protect the UK’s security and non-proliferation interests.”

The government is committed to putting the UK at the forefront of the race to capture the benefits of the domestic and global nuclear market. The decision to sell the stake is part of our wider strategy to realise the best value for government shareholdings of assets including the Student Loan Book and Royal Mail.

The Dutch government owns a third of Urenco and the German utility companies RWE and E.on jointly own the remaining third. Any change in ownership must be agreed by all shareholders and with the German government.

The form, scale and timing of any proposed sale has not yet been determined and will be conditional upon further discussions. Further announcements will be made in due course.

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