French nuclear engineering company Areva launched an internal investigation into a $2.5 billion purchase of a Canadian uranium-mining company called UraMin in 2007. The investigation is said to have been initiated by mangers in the company behind the back of then-CEO Anne Lauvergeon, especially because the purchased companies actually had no uranium mines, just the “rights” to begin mining.
Since that time, Areva has claimed a $1.9 billion write-down of the value of this asset after learning they did not have the ability to mine in certain remote parts of Africa. The amount of uranium originally said to be assets of UraMin appears not to have been accurate, according to Max Colchester in the Wall Street Journal.
As part of the investigation, then-CEO Anne Lauvergeon says Areva has private detectives spying on her and her husband. She is angry the company has withheld her severance payment of €1.5 million ($1.9 million).