Companies

GE acquires 90 per cent stake in Converteam for $3.2bn

GE Energy has agreed to buy 90 per cent of Converteam from a controlling shareholder group that includes management, Barclays Private Equity and LBO France, for $3.2bn.

The transaction is expected to close during third quarter 2011, subject to conditions. GE is set to purchase the remaining shares from Converteam’s senior management over the next two to five years, at a price of no more than about $480m.

Converteam’s solutions aim to replace or improve mechanical processes with high-efficiency electric alternatives. The firm operates across six vertical sectors: offshore and onshore oil and gas, power generation, wind and solar renewables, industrial, marine, and services.

Headquartered in Massy, France, Converteam has 5300 employees, including more than 1600 engineers, and operates in more than 80 countries. Converteam announced 2010 sales of approximately $1.5bn and EBITDA of approximately $239m, with about 36 per cent growth in orders from 2009.à‚ 

Russia to sell controlling stake in RusHydro in two stage sell-offà‚ 

Moscow plans to reduce its 58 per cent stake in RusHydro, Russia’s biggest hydropower company and the second biggest in the world in terms of installed capacity.

In the first round of a two-stage selloff, the government is expected to sell 7.9 per cent.

The size and timing of the second round has yet to be clarified, although the sale is likely to happen within the next three or four years. The government is expected to lose its controlling stake but to retain a blocking/veto share.à‚ 

Japanese trio to unite hydropower generation system operationsà‚ 

The Japanese trio of Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have agreed to unite their hydropower generation system operations.

In a statement, MHI said the three companies are to establish a preparatory company in May 2011 as a subsidiary of Hitachi and to transfer operations to the preparatory company through a simplified company split.à‚ 

Sweden sacks Vattenfall chairman Lars Westerbergà‚ 

Sweden has sacked Vattenfall chairman Lars Westerberg with immediate effect after the state-owned power company unlawfully paid a lump sum to the former CEO Lars G. Josefsson.

Bjàƒ¶rn Savén has been appointed as acting chairman of the board, as well as deputy chairman of Vattenfall AB. Lars Westerberg has been the chairman of the board since April 2008.

In violation of state guidelines, ex-CEO Lars Josefsson, who has been under heavy fire, received compensation of 12m kronor ($1.8m) despite having voluntarily resigned, according to Swedishwire.com.

“What has happened is unacceptable and I think that Lars Westerberg cannot continue his mission,” said financial markets minister Peter Norman.

The money already paid to Lars G. Josefsson is now to be paid back. His pension with is worth 57m kronor, according to media reports.à‚ 

AMSC buys The Switch for $265m and targets Asiaà‚ 

American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) is to buy The Switch Engineering, a power technologies company headquartered in Finland.

The €190m ($265m) acquisition is expected to support AMSC’s growth through providing access to The Switch’s markets for power converter systems and permanent magnet generators among wind turbine manufacturers in China, Europe, Korea and the US. Closing of the transaction, which has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors, is expected by 31 August, 2011.à‚ 

PPL completes assets sale to LS Power Equityà‚ 

PPL Corporation has completed the previously announced sale of interests in some non-core generating stations to an affiliate of LS Power Equity Advisors for about $381m in cash.

The transaction includes the 244 MW Wallingford gas plant in Connecticut; the 585 MW PPL University Park gas plan in Illinois; and PPL’s one-third share in the 421 MW Safe Harbor hydro plant in Pennsylvania.à‚ 

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Centrica: The UK utility’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy has agreed to buy the New York based energy retailer Gateway Energy Services Corporation for $90m in cash.

EGCO: Thailand’s second largest private power producer has invested $215m to acquire the 460 MW Quezon coal fired plant in the Philippines from Covanta Holding Corporation.

E.ON: The Germany-based company has finalized the sale of its UK distribution business, Central Networks, to a subsidiary of PPL Corporation for à‚£4bn ($4.7bn).

Gamesa: The Spanish wind turbine maker plans to invest over €60m ($86m) through 2012 in manufacturing facilities in India, including a turbine blade plant in Gujurat with initial production capacity of 300 MW.

Gamesa: The Export-Import Bank of the US has picked Gamesa Technology Corp for its 2011 Renewable-Energy Exporter of the Year award.

REpower: The wind turbine manufacturer has sold its logistics subsidiary WEL to Universal Windkraft Logistik GmbH to tighten its focus on its core expertise of supplying wind turbine systems.

Vattenfall: With a goal of building a strong European energy brand, the power company has picked creative agency DDB and media agency IUM to work with it over the next two years across all its eight markets.

Wärtsilä: The power solutions company has agreed to support Crisis Management Initiative, an independent Finnish non-profit organization dedicated to resolving conflicts through mediation and confidence building.

Westinghouse: Select proprietary information on Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse’s AP1000 design is to be shared with Endesa with a view of enabling the technology to be picked for nuclear projects in Spain and South America.à‚ 

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