Friendly sale despite dispute

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Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica -- the new name for Grupo Metalurgico SA (Gamesa) -- has agreed to sell its 30.39 MW Monte Treito wind farm in the Galicia region to utility Iberdrola. The agreement comes after Gamesa's decision to auction off around 400 MW of its wind capacity (Windpower Monthly, July 2002), a move opposed by Iberdrola. The utility wants to expand its wind generating capacity and had hoped its 18.86% stake in Gamesa would ensure it first rights to plant up for sale.

The Monte Treito sale was being negotiated prior to Gamesa's auction decision and its completion indicates there is no major breakdown in relations between the two companies, as is the case with Iberdrola's other main wind concern, Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (see story).

Gamesa is selling the wind capacity to raise capital for its key business areas, turbine manufacturing and wind plant development. The company's financial leverage is high with total debt tripling the group's funds. Financial daily, Expansión, says Gamesa's debt could reach EUR 924 million by December. Meanwhile, the company reports net earnings of EUR 30.29 million for the first half of 2002, up 25% on the EUR 24.29 million for the same period last year. "As indicated in the forecast for 2002, sales of wind turbines in the second half will be higher than in the first," the company says.

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