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Book building for the flotation of 70% of Nordex, a wind turbine division of the German Babcock-Borsig Group, began on March 20 in preparation for the company's flotation on the New Markets section of the Frankfurt stock exchange on April 2. The only shadow on the horizon is the news that telltale metal particles are showing up in the Flender gear boxes used in Nordex turbines, according to the Danish wind turbine owners association. It was this warning sign which preceded a series failure of Flender gear boxes in NEG Micon turbines, which brought the company to its knees and required the retrofit of 1250 NEG Micon wind turbines. Babcock-Borsig is intending to use the money raised by the flotation to increase Nordex's 9% share of the global wind market. Nordex is owned 80.5% by Babcock-Borsig subsidiary, BDAG Balcke-Dürr, with the remainder owned by its Danish founders, brothers Jens and Carsten Pedersen. After the listing, 69% of capital will be in widely spread holdings, so that Nordex will be deconsolidated from the Babcock Group. Analysts found it difficult to predict the emission price for Nordex shares because the company is the first German turbine manufacturer to be listed. Nordex turnover in 2000 reached EUR 273 million after EUR 224 million the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose to EUR 17 million in 2000 from EUR 12 million in 1999.

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