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Netherlands

Netherlands

Takeover on the cards; Stork looks at Lagerwey

Holland's Lagerwey Windturbines BV looks set to become a fully-owned subsidiary of Stork Engineering Products of Naarden, the Netherlands. Lagerwey's absorption into a larger conglomerate is a sign of the times, where the renewable industry trend is toward economies of scale.

The latest chapter in the history of Holland's Lagerwey Windturbines BV looked set to be written by the end of November with the takeover of the company by diversified engineering group Stork NV of Naarden, the Netherlands. Talks which would see Lagerwey become a fully-owned subsidiary of Stork Engineering Products are already "well-advanced," according to both companies. In mid November they said the deal would be rounded off in the near future. Lagerwey was founded 15 years ago by Henk Lagerweij

Historically, Lagerwey's fortunes have tended to shadow the fate of renewable energy in Holland. Founded in the wake of the oil crisis, the company collapsed with the price of oil in the early eighties, filed for bankruptcy in 1984 but re-emerged triumphantly post-Chernobyl in 1985. Its absorption into a larger conglomerate is also a sign of the times, where the industry trend is toward economies of scale.

Lagerwey's Remco Boersma says "the mood is positive," among company staff. The takeover deal is primarily a response to changing market conditions which have seen Lagerwey shift emphasis away from its traditional base of small-scale projects financed by individual investors, landowners and co-operatives in the Netherlands and Germany, towards larger scale multi-million dollar projects involving power utilities. This shift has meant that Lagerwey, with an annual turnover of NLG 60 million, has had to broaden its financial base. With its 1995 turnover of NLG 4.12 billion, Stork is well qualified to do so.

Lagerwey began work on its new LW 45/750 in 1995 and Boersma is particularly hopeful that the Stork takeover will act as the "catalyst" in the further development of Lagerwey's first large model. Boersma says Lagerwey has no immediate interests in the American market and the recent US ban on import of European variable speed technology had not affected takeover negotiations. If the ban is maintained, "We do not expect it to apply to the technology of Lagerwey's own variable speed system" he says.

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