Vestas hints at partnership deal

DENMARK: Vestas is rumoured to be moving closer to a deal that would see it form a partnership to enhance its presence in the offshore wind market.

Uffe Vinther-Schou's comments have led to speculation about a possible deal
Uffe Vinther-Schou's comments have led to speculation about a possible deal

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Speculation was sparked when Uffe Vinther-Schou, head of offshore sales, was quoted in Danish paper Borsen saying that the company would share news on a possible deal "shortly".

Vestas announced in August 2012 that it was in talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) regarding a "potential strategic cooperation" with the Japanese firm.

However, in a new development, Vinther-Schou seemed to imply that other options were being considered. "We have an open mind in relation to who could be partners. It could be industrial players, pension funds or equity funds," he said.

In August last year, Vestas said it was seeking a partner that would be prepared to take a stake of between 10% and 20% in the company and an active role in the business.

In what is seen as a part of a developing trend in the offshore wind industry, Siemens signed a framework agreement with Dong in 2012 that will see the turbine manufacturer supply 300 of its 6MW offshore turbines to wind-farm projects planned by Dong for UK waters between 2014 and 2017.

As Vestas looks to launch its V164 8MW offshore turbine into an already congested market, the feeling is that a similar partnership may be needed to realise the company's offshore aspirations.

"In order for us to play ball with the big boys in future – players like Samsung, Mitsubishi and Siemens – we have developed an offshore partnership strategy," said Vinther-Schou.

The company was unwilling to confirm any progress on a deal when contacted on Friday, saying: "When there is anything to announce, one way or the other, we will do so."

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