UPDATE 2-Hitachi reviews nuclear power partnership with GE

* Hitachi says looking at ways to boost global sales

* May recast nuclear power joint venture ownership structure

* Foreign sales not going as hoped-Nikkei quoting president

* Europe woes delay some contracts-FT quoting president

* Shares fall 3.8 pct, underperforming broader market

TOKYO, June 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Hitachi Ltd (6501.T: ), Japan’s
largest electronics maker, said on Tuesday that it is reviewing
the structure of its nuclear power partnership with General
Electric Co (GE.N: ), as it seeks to win more deals globally.

A Hitachi spokesman did not rule out the possibility of
Hitachi and GE changing their investments in their joint ventures
as part of an overhaul of Hitachi’s global sales network, but
said nothing concrete had been discussed or decided.

The nuclear power business is one of the focus areas for
Hitachi — a sprawling conglomerate of 900 group firms — as it
steers itself towards growth again after four consecutive years
of losses. [ID:nTOE64U027]

It competes with the likes of Japan’s Toshiba (6502.T: ) and
France’s Areva (CEPFi.PA: ) in nuclear power.

The Nikkei business daily reported earlier that Hitachi is
considering taking control of foreign sales of nuclear equipment.
Hitachi currently leads Japan sales, while GE is in charge of
other markets through their partnership.

“GE has its hands full with the U.S. and isn’t able to cover
Asia, the Middle East and Europe,” Hitachi President Hiroaki
Nakanishi was quoted as telling the Nikkei in an interview.

Nakanishi also told the paper that he thought the foreign
operations were not working out as Hitachi had initially
expected.

But J.P. Morgan analyst Yoshiharu Izumi questioned whether it
would make much difference if Hitachi took charge of its overseas
nulcear sales.

“GE and Hitachi make BWRs (boiling water reactors), and they
don’t do PWRs (pressurised water reactors), which is growing and
which Toshiba, Westinghouse and Areva offer,” Izumi said.

“The main markets for the BWR-type reactors are still the
United States and Japan. So I don’t think there will be much
difference even if Hitachi takes control.”

In the nuclear segment, it and GE joined forces in 2007 and
set up joint ventures in Japan and the United States.

Hitachi owns 80 percent of the Japanese venture, while GE as
a 60 percent stake in the American company, which caters to
the United States and other overseas markets.

The Nikkei also said Hitachi will consider locating its
headquarters for some business segments, including information
technology and infrastructure, overseas. It has already moved the
headquarters of its hard-disk-drive segment to the United States.

Separately, the Financial Times quoted Nakanishi as saying in
an interview that Europe’s debt problems were having an impact on
business and that some contracts had been delayed and there may
be cancellations.

But the Hitachi spokesman said that while some projects were
experiencing some delays, the company was not expecting any
cancellations or a big impact on overall earnings.

Hitachi shares were down 3.8 percent at 358 yen in
midafternoon, underperforming a 0.7 percent fall in the benchmark
Nikkei average (.N225: ).

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(Reporting by Koustav Samanta in BANGALORE and Sachi Izumi in
TOKYO; Editing by Maju Samuel and Chris Gallagher)

UPDATE 2-Hitachi reviews nuclear power partnership with GE