SolarWorld to go public

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Germany's SolarWorld is transforming its wind and solar energy subsidiary, WindWelt, into a stockholding company prior to increasing the subsidiary's capital before floating it on the Düsseldorf stock exchange before the end of June. Investors are invited to acquire shares to raise WindWelt capital by EUR 1million to EUR 6 million, according to SolarWorld in Bonn, which is already listed on the Düsseldorf exchange. SolarWorld will remain the majority stakeholder in WindWelt after the initial public offering. "WindWelt retains the wind and solar stations that it develops as company assets," says Sybille Teyke of SolarWorld. "Other listed wind energy planning companies sell their wind projects as wind fund shares on the capital market rather than building up their own generation capacity into the long term," she adds. The flotation of WindWelt as owner/operator of "New Energy-Powerplants" is, "Another step in the expansion strategy of SolarWorld which is concentrating on building up the complete chain of solar activities from the raw material silicon to the end product solar generated electricity," Teyke says. SolarWorld will remain component supplier for WindWelt, and SolarWorld's around 6% stake in German turbine manufacturer Fuhrländer, acquired in early 2000, offers further synergy opportunities, Teyke says.

WindWelt is not looking to take part in offshore or export markets for wind power, preferring to stay as a local player, concentrating primarily on solar, says Thomas Klodt of the company. It operates 3.6 MW of Enron and Enercon turbines in the Eifel region of North Rhine Westphalia and plans to put 8 MW of large Fuhrländer turbines on-line next month. It has further plans for installation of another 25 turbines (20 MW).

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