Tacke faces bankruptcy

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Early this month Tacke Windtechnik was still in the hands of a trustee appointed by the German bankruptcy court at Lingen who is investigating the company's financial situation. The trustee, in charge of the company together with Markus Tacke during the sequestration period, was appointed by the court after a single creditor filed a claim for bankruptcy against Tacke at Lingen on July 21, confirmed Tacke's Walter Felix Beyer on August 5. Beyer is the company's in-house lawyer and head of staff. "In the meantime Tacke is negotiating with potential national and international partners in order to improve its financial position," said Beyer. He declined to name the negotiating partners, but says the state of Lower Saxony, where Tacke is based, has indicated its willingness to support the company. "Tacke staff are therefore confident they will survive this severe situation and maintain our position in the market as a key player," added Beyer. Tacke's sales to the domestic market have flagged in recent years compared with those of its competitors. This year it has fallen from second to fourth place in the German industry league table with 9.9% of the market representing sales of just 21.3 MW, according to statistics released by the wind energy group of the Internationales Wirtschaftsform Regenerative Energien (IWR). Leader Enercon holds 37.2% of the market with sales of nearly 80 MW, while Vestas and Bonus in second and third place have each sold over 30 MW. IWR also points out that Tacke's turnover fell from DEM 180 million in 1995 to DEM 131 million in 1996. Industry observers are blaming Tacke's "tragic situation" on the current political uncertainty surrounding the German wind market. Six weeks ago Tacke Windtechnik said it was actively searching for a new co-operation partner in India. Over 20 companies responded to an invitation for talks, including NEPC in Tamil Nadu, which makes Micon turbines. "We hope to clinch a deal this summer," said Markus Tacke in June. A joint venture was not envisaged, he added, saying the form of any partnership remained undecided.

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