Danes move in on Dutch competitor

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In the latest in a series of takeover manoeuvres Denmark's NEG Micon A/S has moved to acquire Dutch wind turbine market leader NedWind BV. A letter of intent opening negotiations between the two companies was signed on June 18 and the discussions are expected to be concluded by the end of July.

With NedWind currently claiming a 25% share of the domestic wind turbine market and holding orders to the tune of NLG 100 million, a successful takeover would boost NEG Micon's share of the world market to 20% and bring projected turnover to NLG 600 million this year.

The announcement follows hard on the heels of the Danish company's takeover of two UK wind energy manufacturing firms, Wind Energy Group and Taywood Aerolaminates and one of its own suppliers, Dan Control Engineering A/S, in March this year, and effectively confirms NEG Micon's ambition to become world market leader (Windpower Monthly, April 1998). Currently the second largest supplier of wind turbines world wide, the company describes the current venture as "another step in NEG Micon's continuous efforts on consolidating its activities on all main markets, and a part of the company's strategy within globalisation."

For its part Rhenen-based Nedwind welcomes the negotiations as an appropriate response "to changing market conditions in which only larger companies will be successful." Combining forces will allow Nedwind "to play a significant role in the realisation of large projects -- especially the development of offshore wind energy" the company believes. It further expects the product ranges of both companies to be harmonised with the recently developed NedWind 600 series -- with capacities of 1 MW -- being given a prominent role, again with an eye to the offshore market.

In addition to its commanding position on the Dutch market, Nedwind, founded in 1976, has established a firm foothold in both the Caribbean and Chinese markets. Earlier this year it announced orders totalling NLG 47 million for equipping two wind farms in Xinjiang Province and Inner Mongolia in China and in 1996 it set up a joint venture development company in Curacao in order to further develop the wind energy market in the Caribbean.

An apparent shift in NedWind's business strategy took place in autumn 1997 when it decided to shed its 12-strong manufacturing division (Windpower Monthly, October 1997). The company intended to concentrate on its core activities of development, marketing, assembly and on-site construction, rather than tying up capital in unsold turbines, a NedWind spokesperson said at the time. Incorporation within NEG Micon looks to accord with that strategic shift away from manufacturing towards project specialisation.

Of the 337 MW wind energy capacity currently installed in the Netherlands, some 160 MW is generated by NEG Micon and NedWind machines.

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