Monday 7 December 2020 12:22 pm

Rolls-Royce kicks off £2bn disposal programme with nuclear instrument sale

Rolls-Royce today announced that it would sell its nuclear instrumentation business in the first stage of plans to make £2bn in disposals to fuel its post-coronavirus recovery.

The blue-chip engineer said that it would sell the business, which employs 550 people, to French nuclear firm Franatome, for an undisclosed fee.

In a statement, the FTSE 100 company said that the deal would close in the second half of 2021.

Rolls-Royce added that no UK staff would be affected by the sale, which will see Franatome take control of operations in France, the Czech Republic, and China.

It said that Rolls-Royce would continue to run its civil nuclear business, as well as its small nuclear reactor programme.

Chief executive Warren East said: “This transaction marks a further simplification of our business and contributes towards our target to generate over £2bn from disposals, as announced on 27 August 2020.

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“We also believe it represents the best outcome for this part of our civil nuclear operations and its people.”

The announcement comes with Rolls-Royce due to provide a full year market update on Friday.

The firm has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, with roughly half of its income derived from the hours airlines fly using its engines.

As a result of the near total shutdown in air travel, shares in Rolls-Royce collapsed to record lows earlier this year.

However, recent announcements regarding a number of effective vaccines against the disease have seen its stock triple in the last month.

Shares were up a further 1.5 per cent this morning at 132.20.