Acciona set for Nordex takeover bid

Acciona will launch a full takeover of Nordex after increasing its majority share in the German turbine manufacturer to 36.27%.

Acciona is set to fully acquire Nordex after becoming its majority shareholder in 2016

Under German law, any shareholder that acquires a controlling stake of a company over 30% must launch a public offer for the outstanding shares.

Nordex exclusively offered additional shares to Acciona in the private placement in order to raise extra funds. 

The offer price of €10.21/share from the Nordex board was set using the average over the last three days. The transaction raised €99 million, allowing Nordex to increase its solvency.

"The private placement enables Nordex to deliver its backlog without being hindered by balance sheets and the volatile market dynamics resulting from the Senvion insolvency," said Raimundo Fernández-Cuesta, global director of markets & investor relations at Acciona in a conference call.

"It sends a strong signal of confidence to [Nordex’s] clients, suppliers and financiers," Fernández-Cuesta added.

The capital increase that triggered the Acciona offer "provides additional equity to deliver on the strong order momentum for the Delta 4000 platform" for which Nordex had a total order backlog of over €7 billion at the end of June 2019.

Now Acciona has reached the 30% threshold, it must make a public offer for the remaining Nordex shares.

It intends to offer €10.32/share — equivalent to the average price over the past three months. A tender offer is expected in early 2020.

Following the announcement, Nordex shares at midday CEST were up to €11.02/share.

Acciona acquired a 29.9% stake in Nordex in the 2016 merger deal, which saw Nordex take on the Acciona Windpower turbine manufacturing business. 

"OEMs were plagued with lower EBIT margins earlier this year due to the aggressive pricing of contracts signed in 2017. Trade tariffs in major markets such as the US have only exacerbated the situation," said Shashi Barla, a Wood Mackenzie principal analyst.

"Additional equity from Acciona Energy will aid Nordex with investing in future growth," Barla added. 

Nordex order intake grew from 2.7GW in 2017 to 4.7GW in 2018, plus the 3GW it won in the first half of 2019.

"For Nordex to continue this momentum and compete with larger peers, it is critical to have access to additional capital and financial strength. Acciona Energy's full ownership will aid Nordex in this respect," Barla noted. 

However, the ripples of Senvion's insolvency and Germany's market paralysis are stretching far and wide. 

Both Nordex and Senvion have suffered from their dwindling native market.

In the country's eleven onshore wind auctions between May 2017 and September 2019, projects winning allocations include 118 Nordex turbines for 399MW and 81 Senvion turbines for 275MW.

This equates to an 11% and 7.5% market share, respectively, of the total 1,089 turbines for 3,673MW, according to wind agency FA Wind data.

For comparison, Enercon clocked up 407 turbines for 1,309MW (36%), and Vestas sold 341 turbines for 1,211MW (33%).

Nordex has been producing turbines from the Delta 4000 range in series in Rostock, Germany, in continuous flow production since mid-March 2019.

More than 400 employees work in the Rostock production facility producing nacelles, hubs and drive trains as well as the control cabinets needed for the Delta 4000 portfolio which has been expanded into five turbine variants for a wide range of different requirements around the world.