Suzlon sells Senvion in €1bn cash deal

INDIA: Suzlon has agreed to sell German subsidy Senvion to private equity group Centerbridge Partners in a €1 billion cash deal.

The deal includes Senvion licensing its offshore technology to Suzlon for the Indian market. According to Suzlon, Senvion will get the license for the Suzlon S111-2.1 turbine for the US market.

There is also a future earn-out clause of up to €50 million. Centerbridge is a US-based private equity firm, founded in 2005.

Suzlon acquired Senvion, or Repower as it was then known, in 2007 after a four-month battle with Areva. It acquired 60% of the company, which rose to 92% in 2009 and 100% in 2011.

The original Suzlon-Senvion deal in 2007 valued the company at €1.22 billion.

The relationship between Suzlon and Senvion has never been a  straightforward one. Under German law, Senvion's IP was locked down until Suzlon acquired over 95% of the company, while Senvions's banking arrangements have meant it has proved difficult for Suzlon to unlock any capital from its subsidiary.

Suzlon said it would concentrate on India and "high growth markets like China, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey and Mexico". The sale will also go towards reduction of Suzlon's debts.

Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti said: "The Indian government's significant thrust on renewable energy offers a conducive policy framework to the sector. Suzlon is best equipped to capitalise on this."

Speaking about the deal, Centerbridge managing director Stefan Kowski said: "Senvion is a company with impressive technology and leading market positions. The global market environment for renewable energies is promising for a wind turbine manufacturer, particularly for one of the most experienced players in the industry with onshore and offshore capability.

"We are confident that Senvion will continue its track record and, together with the company's management, we look forward to supporting its continued development as a profitable and growing company."

Senvion chief executive Andreas Nauen said: "Our objective is to continue growing profitably and to gain additional market share in our top five markets in Germany, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and France, as well as in our target markets. We also aim to maintain a strong position in the offshore sector."

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