Vestas considers taking on assets of troubled generator firm

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Vestas is considering taking over some of the assets of troubled Weier Electric, the main supplier of generators for the Vestas 2 MW machine. German Weier filed for bankruptcy protection at the Eutin court in Germany on July 18. It has been a supplier to Vestas for more than ten years. About 85% of its business is done with the Danish company, which became more dependent on Weier after dropping its dealings with French generator supplier Leroy-Somer. ABB also supplies generators for the 2 MW unit. Weir reports turnover of EUR 25 million in 2004 and expects to increase it sales to EUR 28-29 million this year, assuming it is not liquidated. Sales growth has not apparently been reflected in profits. "The contract price was good for Vestas but not for Weier. Rising costs for raw materials led to increasing losses with each new generator sold," comments a market source. Weier employs around 178 people, of which around 80 work in the generator manufacturing works in Lübeck. Business continues as usual for three months while the liquidator, Kiel-based lawyer Reinhold Schmid-Sperber, examines the situation. Vestas says it expects to provide "further information regarding the evaluation of possibilities for purchase of assets from Weier" by August 25.

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