Suzlon sells Chinese offshoot for $60 million

CHINA: Suzlon is to sell its Chinese subsidiary Suzlon Energy Tianjin to China Power New Energy Development for $60 million.

Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti... moving to "asset light business model"
Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti... moving to "asset light business model"

The sale is subject to regulatory approval. Speaking about the decision, Suzlon chief executive Tulsi Tanti said the move was prompted by changes to the Chinese market and the need to streamline its assets.

Tanti said: "The dynamics of the wind energy market have changed considerably over the past year, and we are realigning our strategy to the China market with an agile, asset-light business model to achieve the high growth and margins but with lower investments. Therefore, we have decided to realign our business there, as reflected in this transaction."

Additionally, Tanti referred to a recent announcement by Suzlon that it would divest of non-critical assets as part of its efforts to repay its extensive debts. It recently received a 45-day extension on its deadline to repay $360 million in foreign currency convertible bonds due at the end of the month.

In future, Suzlon will operate in China through partnerships. Despite being the world's biggest market, government moves to regulate wind development have led to production overcapacity.

Suzlon's decision comes just over a year after the company reiterated its long-term commitment to its China operations. In April 2011, the company responded rumours it would sell the subsidiary by saying it would fight for market share in the China.

In a statement it said: "China, the largest and fastest growing wind power market in the world, has always been a crucial link in our global portfolio. No matter what the consideration, we will not withdraw from this strategically important market.

"More than that, we will intensify investment in China in the future. In the course of exploring the Chinese market, we will cultivate our facilities in China as an important base for global export and R&D."

However, in September Andreas Nauen CEO of subsidiary Repower said the company was working on a strategy to exit China, citing protectionism.  

He said: "China has not desisted from its trade protectionism and continues to close off its market from foreign players. The market share of foreign players in China has continued to decline to about 10%."

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