Duratek to buy wastes manager

Waste Management expects $65 million for its nuclear unit

March 30, 2000|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Columbia-based GTS Duratek Inc., a radioactive- and hazardous waste disposal company, announced yesterday that it will acquire the nuclear services business of Waste Management Inc.

Duratek will pay up to $65 million in cash for the Waste Management unit, $55 million when the sale closes and $10 million if certain conditions are met after the sale is completed.

The companies expect to complete the sale in the second quarter.

Waste Management Nuclear Services identifies itself as one of the nation's leading companies in providing low-level radioactive waste management services to industrial customers and the federal government.

Robert E. Prince, president and chief executive officer of Duratek, said the acquisition will give his company "the ability to provide commercial and government customers with the full range of radioactive waste services, from on-site management to final disposal."

The purchase will "not only enhance our strategies and marketplace position, but will also, from the outset, improve the company's overall earnings potential," said Robert F. Shawver, Duratek's chief financial officer.

Duratek said the transaction is expected to boost its annual revenue by about $100 million.

John D. Froley, an analyst with San Francisco-based First Security Van Kasper, said the acquisition will "significantly increase Duratek's role in the market of decommissioning commercial nuclear power plants and in cleaning up government nuclear weapons sites and research facilities."

Froley said the purchase should boost Duratek's sales and earnings about 50 percent a year.

Houston-based Waste Management Inc. is the nation's largest trash hauler. It has struggled recently and has been selling off companies to reduce its debt and boost its stock price, which has fallen almost 70 percent over the past year.

Waste Management is selling its international operations and some North American facilities for $3 billion. About $2 billion of the proceeds are to be used to reduce its debt.

Duratek's shares fell 31.25 cents yesterday to $9.25. Waste Management's stock jumped $1.625 to $14.125.

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