Mike Asquino of the firm's power generation unit in Florida confirms the divestiture of the defence unit announced on December 8 will not impact its wind alliance. But he did not comment on the company's future plans. Westinghouse's power business has apparently been one of the most profitable, although the troubled company has long had what is considered a poor mix.
"We really don't have a comment. Our alliance [with Westinghouse] continues to move forward," says New World's, Mike Brennan. New World officials know no more about the overall plans of Westinghouse than are reported in the general newspapers. "Frankly, in the overall scheme of things, the alliance [with New World] is small potatoes and will not influence anything," he comments. Even so, when the alliance was announced it caused excitement in much of the wind industry and was portrayed by New World as one of only a handful of alliances the entire Westinghouse company has ever entered into.
Westinghouse's huge $3.2 billion defence sale, announced on December 8, indeed dwarfs anything remotely possible worldwide in renewables. The Pittsburgh-based firm has an alliance with New World Power Corp to develop wind and other renewables worldwide. The German Enercon turbine was pictured in a Westinghouse brochure publicising the alliance in 1994. Since then, though, Enercon says it has hardly heard from the giant American firm.
Westinghouse says it will sell its defence-related business and also the smaller electronic systems unit in the first half of 1996 to help pay for its $5.4 billion purchase of CBS Inc, known for owning one of America's three TV networks, and for its general expansion into media. Some analysts expect Westinghouse to eventually shed all its industrial operations. "I think they are going to get rid of it all," Donald Wampach at Duff Phelps Investment Research, told Reuters. "The only reason they're not selling other businesses now, like their nuclear business and power generation, is that they're not really saleable."