First Reserve seeds nuclear venture

In a bid to consolidate the industry at the start of a ‘nuclear fuel cycle’, the US energy industry specialist has recruited two veterans of nuclear power to form Accord Nuclear Resources, a platform from which to build an integrated nuclear fuel supplier.

First Reserve Corporation, the energy-focused global private equity firm, is to provide “significant capital” to build a nuclear energy platform in partnership with a former director of German nuclear group Nukem, David Sloan, and the former head of uranium trading group Nufcor, Charles Scorer.

The value of First Reserve’s investment has not been publicly disclosed but a source close to the deal confirmed it is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Accord will acquire and merge businesses from across the nuclear energy sector, focusing on the three areas of uranium mining and production, infrastructure operations and service companies.

Nuclear power: at the
start of a cycle

Alex Krueger, managing director of First Reserve, cited a “historical lack of capital and resource commitment to the industry” as creating an opportunity for Accord to build a business at the beginning of “the nuclear fuel cycle”.

“Nuclear energy is gaining more focused interest as the result of a structural need tied to increased fossil fuel costs and carbon emissions standards impacting other forms of power generation,” he said in a statement.

Accord is not expected to acquire any of First Reserve's existing portfolio companies.

Scorer, formerly chief executive officer at Nufcor International, will assume the role of chief executive at Accord.

Sloan was director of business development at Nukem, which was acquired by private equity firm Advent International in 2006, and will become executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Accord.

In January First Reserve, in partnership with AMCI Capital and Pamodzi Investment Holdings, agreed to invest $420 million in the creation of Cooke, a new uranium company in South Africa.

Earlier this year First Reserve began marketing its 12th fund targeting $12 billion with a hard cap of $16 billion. If the fundraising is successful, it will create the largest ever private equity fund to focus on energy assets.