FRENCH nuclear submarine maker DCNS received the green light from its board to take control of Louth-based renewable energy company OpenHydro.
The French company, which is part-owned by the French government, plans to take a majority stake in the Irish tidal turbine manufacturer, Agence France Presse reported.
There were no further details about the terms of the takeover. Market speculation has long suggested that embattled investment company One51 would offload its stake in OpenHydro to DCNS.
DCNS owns 11pc of OpenHydro at present and will now take the stake to more than 50pc, allowing some of the company's high-profile shareholders to cash in.
DCNS had a "use it or lose it" buy option that was due to expire next week. The Sunday Independent reported recently that one option would allow DCNS to buy 50pc of Open-Hydro at €4 a share, with the promise to float the company on the stock market within two years. That would value the company at close to €200m.
One51 would make at least €16m from a DCNS buy, trebling its €5m investment.
AFP has said the level of shareholding that DCNS will receive has not yet been decided.
DCNS hopes to play a leading role in the development of the booming marine energy sector.