Major merger in Spanish industry

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Spain's leading domestic wind company, Ecotècnia, has merged with Mondrag—n Corporaci—n Cooperativa (MCC), one of Spain's ten largest companies. Ecotècnia sought the partnership in order to help cope with its own rapid growth over the last five years, in which sales have multiplied by a factor of 13 to a projected total of ESP 7 billion (EUR 42.1 million) for 1999, the company says. The increasing demands of the wind sector, says Ecotècnia's Antoni Mart’nez, require "the support and involvement of a large commercial group with logistical and financial power and international projection."

Ecotècnia, in business in Barcelona since 1981 and with wind turbines from 150 kW-750 kW in size, expects to have a total of 170 MW of projects installed in Spain and abroad by end 1999. It will be integrated into the construction division of MCC, involved in projects as diverse as viaducts, communications towers and the roof of the Sant Jordi Olympic Sports Hall in Barcelona, says MCC's Antonio Cancelo. MCC employs more than 42,000 in 100 companies in the financial, industrial, educational and distribution sectors. Joint sales of the industrial and distribution groups alone are expected to exceed ESP 1 trillion this year.

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MCC's Jesœs Maiztegui says the combination of a rapidly growing global market for wind power along with the European Union's target for renewables greatly piqued MCC's interest in merging with Ecotècnia. "These expectations open up interesting export possibilities for Ecotècnia, to which we are now going to lend our determined support, taking advantage of all of the logistical and commercial infrastructure of the corporation," Maiztegui says. The merger has also prompted MCC to start its own wind farm development company.

Mart’nez says MCC is the "ideal anchorage." Both organisations subscribe to the same co-operative philosophy. In addition, MCC has allowed the wind frim to maintain its structure, enabling Ecotècnia "to combine our technological capacity in the wind power field with the experience and commercial dynamism of MCC, especially in its industrial and international projection," Mart’nez says.

A four year strategy drawn up by the two organisations foresees global investments of ESP 4.12 billion by 2002, centring mainly on resources, research and development and promotion of new wind projects. Ecotècnia's sales are expected to increase from ESP 7 billion this year to ESP 21 billion in 2002. The company employs more than 100 people.

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