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Peretz Partensky via Flickr CC

Private equity firms Apollo Global Management and The Blackstone Group are bidding on the business of Westinghouse Electric Co., the bankrupt U.S. nuclear power plant company that is currently owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp., as reported by Reuters and confirmed by Axios.

Bottom line: The buyer universe could be fairly limited. Many foreign financial sponsors or strategics — particularly from China — would have trouble passing U.S. regulatory muster, while the U.S. nuclear services space is so small that domestic rivals could face antitrust scrutiny.

Behind the deal: Westinghouse is the only U.S. company to receive U.S. building permits for new nuclear power plants since the Three Mile Island incident nearly four decades ago – even though cost overruns on those plants helped cause the Chapter 11 filing (and also led to Toshiba having to put its memory chips biz on the block). The Apollo and Blackstone bid would not include exposure to those still-unfinished facilities or their liabilities, instead focusing on a nuclear power plant services business that reportedly generates around $400 million in annual EBITDA.

Details: A sale could be valued at around $4 billion, with other private equity firms reported to be kicking the tires. PJT Partners is managing the process.

Connections: Apollo already is tied into this deal via a debtor-in-possession financing, while Blackstone owned a nuclear power plans more than a decade ago via its purchase of Texas Genco.

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
56 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tipping has soared during the pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

From restaurants to ride-sharing, Americans are tipping a lot more than they did before the pandemic.

Why it matters: The past two years have upended the way we express appreciation to the people who provide us food and services.

Updated 10 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker