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  • Wednesday, September 5, 2012


    Contemplating A Vestas Marriage: Money, Strategy And Legal Loopholes

    Mark Del Franco, 30 August 2012 (North American Windpower)

    “Embattled wind turbine maker Vestas has been the subject of numerous takeover rumors over the past few years and has been suspected as a takeover target of companies ranging from Chinese manufacturers - such as Ming Yang, Sinovel and Goldwind - to wind turbine suppliers, such as GE and Alstom…Vestas turned away such speculation without comment…[but] gave credibility to the newest name to emerge as a potential partner: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)…[which includes] Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas (MPSA), which manufactures 1 MW and 2.4 MW wind turbines…

    “…[2012 looks like it will be] a record year for turbine installations in the U.S…[but] orders for 2013 have virtually stopped as the wind industry awaits a decision on the extension of the production tax credit (PTC)…In January, the company announced it would eliminate 2,335 positions [at its U.S. factories] by the end of the year. And, in releasing its most recent financial results, Vestas indicated it would lay off 1,400 more employees…”

    “Brian Redmond, managing director at Paragon Energy Holdings, is not surprised by Vestas’ strategic-partnership talks. An expected slowdown in U.S. turbine orders is leading to capacity consolidation throughout the wind industry, he says…Meanwhile, Dan Shreve, director and partner at MAKE Consulting, speculates that both companies could benefit from synergies in the offshore wind space…

    “…[B]y virtue of its…2010 acquisition of U.K.-based Artemis Intelligent Power, MHI could assist Vestas in the offshore wind space, Shreve points out…[T]he question lies in…whether the joint venture would take steps to commercialize [the Artemis] hydraulic drivetrain or move forward with Vestas' more traditional turbine architecture…Like Vestas, MHI's wind division has struggled lately... in part, from a protracted patent-infringement dispute with GE…[A] joint-venture partnership could provide a mechanism for MPSA to get around its legal issues…”


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