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Nordex acquires Acciona Windpower for €785m

GERMANY/SPAIN: Germany's Nordex will acquire Spanish turbine rival Acciona Windpower in a €785 million cash and shares deal that also makes the Acciona group Nordex's reference shareholder, with a 29.9% stake.

Nordex has acquired Acciona Windpower in a €785 million deal
Nordex has acquired Acciona Windpower in a €785 million deal

Both companies are brandishing the deal as a merger of complimentary businesses that will produce a global turbine leader, with a 2.8GW combined order book by March 2016, which is when they expect the merger's final approval from anti-trust authorities.

There will be "no cannibalisation at all", said Acciona Windpower CEO José Luis Blanco in a press conference on Monday morning (5 October). Rather, the two companies say their different technologies and markets will combine to produce the world's fifth largest turbine manufacturer on approval.

Immediate investors reaction has been positive, with Nordex and Acciona's early Monday morning share value up by over 7% and 9%, respectively.

Under the deal, stock-listed Nordex will pay €366 million in cash, together with 16.6 million Nordex shares worth €419 million, to acquire the turbine maker from Spanish holding company Acciona, a renewable energy, logistics and construction group.

Acciona will acquire 13.3% of additional Nordex shares from Skion-Momentum, bringing its total stake in Nordex to 29.9%.

Acciona will also occupy two of the six seats on Nordex' board of directors, the company told Windpower Monthly.

The Acciona group, which will make a capital gain of €675 million from the sale of its turbine division, is locked into the deal for three years.

"In combining activities, Nordex and Acciona Windpower will create a truly global company and, in doing so, reduce exposure to demand swings in individual markets," said Nordex' statement.

The synergies between the two companies will be worth €95 million by 2019, according to Blanco, who expects the merger to corner 8-10% of the global turbine market.

The German firm said it supplies mainly European projects, with highly complex wind farms, typically on a small-scale, of 30MW or below, and often in densely populated areas, where tackling land constraints, noise and visual interference issues are paramount.

Acciona Windpower's focus is on utility-scale plants, of 100MW and above, mainly across remote areas in the Americas with no land constraint issues, Blanco added.

That region currently represents 90% of Acciona Windpower's orders. The Spanish company has factories in the US, Brazil and Spain. Blanco said the firm's orders across the Americas is shared roughly equally among Canada, the US and Latin America.

Nevertheless, Acciona Windpower is increasingly pushing into emerging markets and is currently building a turbine facility in India. It is also present in South Africa, where it has already supplied and built the 138MW Gouda wind plant.

Apart from consolidating different global regional markets, the merger will also have technological synergies, such as Nordex carbon fibre blade development or Acciona Windpower's concrete tower business.

While the two companies' turbine models will remain intact, Blanco said development of joint turbine platforms is expected after 2020.

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