PROJECT FINANCE

Toshiba gets out of GoviEx deal

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has severed an offtake and bond agreement with uranium producer GoviEx Uranium (CN:GXU) following the sale of its Westinghouse nuclear division to Brookfield.

Staff reporter
ToshibEx: Govind Friendland (right) said his company and Toshiba worked out a reasonable separation

ToshibEx: Govind Friendland (right) said his company and Toshiba worked out a reasonable separation

Toshiba and the Africa-focused uranium explorer signed a US$40 million deal in 2012 in which the Japanese company lent the equivalent of 200,000 pounds of U3O8 (with the bond now worth 382,193Ib because of the compounded interest), as well as an offtake and shareholding agreement.

GoviEx will pay $4.5 million to get out of the bond by the end of the month, it said.

The developer is still working on financing the $220 million Madaouela project.

CEO Govind Friedland said he was happy the split with Toshiba was worked out amicably. 

"This agreement allows GoviEx to settle this uranium-price-linked liability at a low point in the uranium market cycle, discharges the security granted to Toshiba in connection with the B Bond, and removes the associated risks to our shareholders," he said.

Westinghouse went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US in March 2017.

Toshiba agreed to buy 600,000lb U3O8 per annum for 14 years under the offtake side of the deal.

At the time of the tie-up with GoviEx, Toshiba corporate vice president Kiyoshi Okamura said the investment was important for guaranteeing uranium supply.

"Toshiba has long been looking for an additional project that makes sense in terms of size and production timeline," he said.

Former GoviEx CEO Charles Scorer said in 2012 the Toshiba funding meant Madaouela was much closer to getting built.

"Our objective to bring Madaouela into production before 2018 remains paramount, with a ramp up to full production by 2020," he said.

GoviEx said Denison Mines (CN:DML) plans to convert warrants worth $3.37 million to help fund the bond settlement.

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