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Energy Capital lifts EnergySolutions buyout offer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Private equity firm Energy Capital Partners has raised its buyout offer for nuclear contractor EnergySolutions Inc. to about $378 million, gaining the support of a key shareholder.

The sweetened deal calls for EnergySolutions Inc. stockholders to receive $4.15 per share, up from a previous offer of $3.75 per share.

The new offer is an 11 percent premium to the Salt Lake City company's Thursday closing stock price of $3.73.

Shares of EnergySolutions rose 39 cents, or 10.5 percent, to $4.12 in Friday afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $1.43 to $4.69.

The company has about 91.1 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.

A deal between Energy Capital and EnergySolutions was initially announced back in January, but needed the approval of EnergySolutions' shareholders.

Carlson Capital LP, the biggest institutional owner of EnergySolutions' stock, had originally opposed to the buyout but has said it now plans to vote in favor of the deal given the new terms, EnergySolutions said Friday.

"We have increased the purchase price principally to gain broader support of shareholders for this transaction," Tyler Reeder, an Energy Capital partner, said in a statement.

Energy Capital said that the $4.15 per share is its best and final offer.

The amended deal still needs regulatory approval from the state of Utah, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and approval by EnergySolutions' shareholders at a special meeting on April 26.