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Siemens-Rosatom goes to arbitration

A Paris court of arbitration has provisionally restricted Siemens' actions in joining a partnership with Russia's Rosatom.

The background to the decisionis that in early 2009 Siemens terminated its joint venture with France-based Areva. It then entered into negotiations with the State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia (Rosatom) with a view to forming a new partnership active in the construction of nuclear power plants, in which it would be a minority shareholder. In April 2009, Areva filed a request for arbitration in the ICC, naming Siemens. ICC is the International Chambers of Commerce, which runs the International Court of Arbitration in Paris. A court spokeswoman declined to comment about the case.

A statement from Siemens asserted: ‘Areva seeks an order enjoining Siemens from pursuing such negotiations with Rosatom, a declaration that Siemens is in material breach of its contractual obligations, it seeks a reduction of the price payable to Siemens for its stake in the Areva NP S.A.S. joint venture and damages in an amount to be ascertained’. Siemens filed its answer in June 2009, the main thrust of which was to seek a dismissal of Areva’s claims and a price increase. The arbitral tribunal has been constituted and the main proceedings have commenced. On 17 November 2009 the arbitral tribunal issued an interim order which imposes certain provisional restrictions on Siemens with respect to the negotiation process and the planned partnership with Rosatom; but the order does not preclude Siemens from continuing its discussions with Rosatom during the arbitration.

Neither Areva nor Siemens would comment. The proceedings of the arbitration court are confidential until a final ruling is reached.


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