UTC buys Clipper in £139.5m deal

UNITED STATES: United Technologies Corporation (UTC) has reached an agreement with the board of Clipper Windpower to acquire the wind turbine manufacturer.

Clipper CEO Jim Dehlsen is to leave once the UTC acquisition goes through

The acquisition comes a month after Clipper announced it was in talks with UTC. Under the terms of the deal, Clipper's founder and chairman Jim Dehlsen will resign with immediate effect once the purchase is complete. The deal values the company at £139.5million ($220million).

At the same time as it announced its talks with UTC, Clipper said sales had fallen by 65% in the six months preceding 30 June compared to the same period in 2009.

Additionally, Clipper said there was "significant doubt of the company’s ability to continue as a going concern" if it was unable to secure the additional financing by September 30.

As part of the acquisition, UTC said it would make a 362-day loan facility available to Clipper. This will run in tranches totalling $140million.

UTC’s decision to acquire Clipper comes after it took a 49.9% stake for $206.5million in the company at the end of last year.

Speaking about the deal, Clipper chief executive officer Mauricio Quintana said: "Clipper has made significant progress during 2010 as we have established a positive momentum and sought to position the business for the future.

"Part of this progress has been as a result of our partnership with UTC and today’s announcement represents the next stage in this relationship. In the context of the challenging environment that Clipper has faced in recent years, we believe that the transaction represents good value for our shareholders and provides substantial benefits for our customers and employees."