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Broadwind raises cash for more gearboxes and towers
1 July 2008
American company Broadwind Energy continues its namesake expansion as a broad supplier of products and services in the wind industry supply chain. To fund growth it is raising $100 million through the direct sale of common stock to investment funds managed by Tontine Associates, the company's majority shareholder. Broadwind is expanding its wind turbine gearbox company, Brad Foote Gear Works, and has bought 14 further gear set production machines from Höfler, based in Ettlingen, Germany, for $30 million. The investment brings the number of Höfler machines the company owns to 29. With the new equipment, Brad Foote can make gearboxes for 5000 MW of wind turbines, up from 2000 MW. As part backing for the expansion, the company signed in April a three-year agreement to supply gear sets to GE Transportation, which builds wind turbine gearboxes destined for GE wind turbines. Funding from Tontine Associates will also go towards expanding Broadwind's tower division, Tower Tech Systems. It has produced towers for the wind industry in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, since 2004 and will start in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Abilene, Texas. Each facility is expected to initially employ more than 150 and will begin production by early 2009. Broadwind also acquired heavy equipment transportation company, Badger Transport, based in Clintonville, Wisconsin It transports wind turbine towers, blades and other large outsize components throughout the US and Canada. Broadwind's backing will allow Badger Transport to increase its fleet size and strategically locate its dispatch centres close to other Broadwind facilities.
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