Creditors asked to help out

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Speculation that Lagerwey Windturbines BV of the Netherlands could be in financial difficulties was confirmed last month when the firm issued a notice to its creditors requesting a partial remission of outstanding debts.

Rumours that all was not well with the Barneveld-based company started circulating in December after a planned takeover of Lagerwey by diversified engineering group Stork NV failed to clear the "due diligence" hurdle. According to Lagerwey's Remco Boersma, the takeover deal has been "suspended" while Lagerwey secures its financial basis by implementing a rescue package. In addition to creditors accepting part payment of outstanding debts, this package involves securing a capital injection of NLG 6 million from its existing shareholders and a banker's agreement to increase credit facilities.

According to Boersma the success of the package will be largely dependent on the company securing a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the MILIEV programme for a major project in India. According to Hans Santen at the Netherlands embassy in Delhi, Lagerwey has plans for two 20 MW projects in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. When and if this grant is secured the company will be able to proceed with a 160 turbine deal with an unnamed Indian company reputed to be worth some NLG 90 million. MILIEV provides 40% of the capital costs of Indo-Dutch projects which use technology of 70% Dutch origin and lead to environmental and economic self sufficiency

Boersma is optimistic the MILIEV grant will be forthcoming and that "the bankruptcy scenario" remains only a remote possibility.

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