EU commission questions details behind GE-LM Wind deal

GE is in discussions with EU antitrust regulators after the latter alleged that the company provided incomplete information in its deal to takeover LM Wind.

The company is consultation with Brussels on the charge of providing misleading research and development information related to its takeover of the Danish rotor blade maker, approved by the EU in March.
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GE’s research involved an offshore turbine that generates more than 10 MW, larger than the 6-MW offshore wind version that GE currently sells and that it acquired in its purchase of power assets from Alstom.

The research was deemed relevant to both GE’s purchase of LM Wind and Siemen’s purchase of wind turbine maker Gamesa. The commission and GE are discussing the objections and potential fine, a process expected to last until September or October, according to people familiar with the case.

GE spokesman Jim Healy declined to comment on details of the information GE did not put in its initial application, but said the company “responded forthrightly” to the EU’s concern and that GE is “having constructive cooperation” with the commission. “We expect that to continue.”

In a further statement GE said they, ‘received a Statement of Objections from the EC relative to submissions by the company during the review of the LM Wind Power acquisition and another transaction in which the company was not directly involved. We believe we acted in good faith to meet the EC disclosure requirements and there was no intent to mislead. When informed of the EC’s concerns, we acted quickly and openly to resolve the issue. We have a strong track record of integrity and transparency in our interactions with the EC, having successful completed 50 transactions in Europe over the last decade.’

‘The SO is a part of the EC investigation process and does not prejudge the final outcome of the procedure. We have the opportunity to respond to it and we will continue our constructive cooperation with the Commission.’

‘The LM Wind Power transaction was approved by Brazil, China, the US, and the EC, and the deal closed on April 20, 2017. The Statement of Objections does not impact the transaction.’

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