Cameco has purchased a stake in one of the world’s largest nuclear service businesses with a valued asset of $7.87 billion.

The company announced the acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company Tuesday afternoon.

Cameco, a global supplier of uranium with many operations in northern Saskatchewan, made the acquisition in partnership with Brookfield Renewable Partners.

Brookfield, based out of Toronto, will own a 51 percent interest in Westinghouse with Cameco owning the remaining stake.

“This is a big deal,” said Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel when speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning at Cameco headquarters in Saskatoon. “We’ve been through some tougher times in the last decade or so, but we’re back…Cameco’s back and we are super excited for the company.”

According to a media release on the acquisition, the total value for Westinghouse is over $7.8 billion. However, the company’s debt structure will remain in place leaving an estimated $4.5 billion equity cost, which Brookfield and Cameco will split nearly down the middle.

Cameco says they currently have available liquidity for the purposes of supporting the transaction, but they will be pursue a permanent financing mix of capital sources (cash, debt and equity) prior to closing.

Gitzel says the timing was right for the acquisition.

“We always want to build the company and grow it,” said Gitzel pointing to a recent uptick in the uranium market over the past few years.

Prior to this uptick, however, Cameco went through some down years forcing them to shut down some of their operations in northern Saskatchewan, but the past year has been good for Cameco.

Last September, the uranium company announced the return of the McArther River and Key Lake operations bringing back 800 jobs to the north.

While Gitzel says he doesn’t expect the acquisition to bring immediate jobs to the province he hopes as Cameco’s capacity grows through this acquisition more jobs will come.

“We think there is a real appetite for nuclear power with 54 reactors being built around the world and a lot more to come,” he said.

The deal is expected to close sometime in 2023 after going through a legal and regulatory process.

(PHOTO: Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel speaks with reporters at Cameco HQ on the acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company.  Photo by Joel Willick.)