Canadian uranium miner Cameco to buy nuclear fuel broker Nukem for $136 mn

Canadian uranium miner Cameco Corp yesterday agreed to buy nuclear fuel broker Nukem Energy GmbH from private equity firm Advent International, for $136 million.  

Cameco, Canada's largest uranium producer will also assume Nukem's debt of $164 million, but cash generated from ongoing business is expected to reduce that balance before closing, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2012.          

Founded in 1960, Alzenau, Germany and Connecticut, US-based Nukem acts as market intermediaries in the physical markets for uranium, conversion and enrichment services.

Nukem is most prominent in the uranium spot market, and has been among the top five or six uranium suppliers to nuclear utilities world-wide.

It buys uranium from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and from dismantled Russian warheads. Its clients include nuclear utilities world-wide, as well as investors such as hedge funds, mutual funds or other intermediaries.

Nukem had sales of around 12 million pounds of uranium in 2011 and expects to sell between 10 million and 15 million pounds in 2012. Its assets include about 4.5 million pounds of uranium that is available under the high-enriched uranium commercial agreement through to 2013.