Vestas in partnership talks with Mitsubishi

DENMARK: Vestas yesterday confirmed it is in talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) over a potential partnership deal.

In a statement on its website, Vestas said it could "confirm that there is an ongoing dialogue between the two companies regarding a potential strategic cooperation".

"If the dialogue results in an agreement," continued the statement, "Vestas will make a company announcement on the issue immediately thereafter."

The announcement of a potential deal between the turbine manufacturer and the Japanese engineering giant followed comments by Vestas chairman Bert Nordberg in the Danish newspaper Berlingske last week that he was working to secure a single partner prepared to take a stake of between 10% and 20% in Vestas and an active role in the business.

Analysts welcomed the move.

"This is in-line with Vestas' strategy to look for a long-term investor (either financial or industrial) that could buy up to 10 to 20% of the group's capital," said Bryan Garnier renewables analyst Julien Desmaretz.

"If a deal was to be done, this would be good news for Vestas, as this would ease concerns over balance sheet and financial strength. Vestas could also benefit from the stronger balance sheet of MHI, required in the offshore segment."

The MHI announcement also follows Vestas' confirmation last week of another 1,400 job losses, taking the firm's total redundancies for 2012 to 3,700 staff.

The troubled turbine manufacturer has been previously lined with a €2 billion takeover by Chinese rival Ming Yang. These reports were subsequently denied by both firms.