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Thursday
Mar072013

Uranium One shareholders approve ARMZ deal

 

(Reuters) - Uranium One Inc shareholders voted in favor of an offer from Russia's state-owned ARMZ to take it private by buying the shares it does not already own.

About 96 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the going-private transaction at a meeting on Thursday. The Russian uranium company had agreed in January to pay C$1.3 billion to take Uranium One private.

ARMZ already owns 51.4 percent of common shares in Uranium One, Canada's second-largest uranium company. ARMZ is the mining arm of Russia's nuclear regulator, Rosatom, which also builds nuclear reactors.

ARMZ still needs numerous regulatory approvals, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Rob Chang said.

Uranium One's operations are focused in Kazakhstan, where ARMZ is also building up its asset base.

Kazakhstan is the world's top uranium producer, with more than double the output of No. 2 producer Canada in 2011, data from the World Nuclear Association showed. Its output quintupled between 2004 and 2011.

The takeover, if successful, will help ARMZ consolidate its control over uranium assets in the former Soviet Union, and strengthen access to reserves in Australia and the United States.

It will also leave just two major publicly listed, pure-play uranium producers - Canada's Cameco Corp and France's Areva SA.

Demand for uranium, used mainly as fuel for nuclear reactors, has come under pressure since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japantriggered a meltdown at the Fukushima-Daiichi atomic power plant.

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