Gearbox supplier Moventas gets new major investor

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One of the oldest gearbox suppliers to the wind industry, Finland's Moventas, is getting a new owner at a time of strong sales and expansion. Finnish private equity investor Capman has sold its majority 58% stake in Moventas to Sweden's Industri Kapital, also a private equity firm. Moventas, which previously sold gearboxes under the trade names Metso and Valmet, currently supplies GE Energy and Vestas, with sales of EUR 207 million in 2006. Beginning early this year Moventas will also supply gearboxes for Spanish Acciona's 1.5 MW wind turbines. Moventas has been a Capman portfolio company for less than two years after Capman bought Metso Drives from Metso Oyj. The investment company's Orvo Siimestö says the move is in line with a policy of divesting "strong industrial companies at their peak." Capman will retain a 16% minority stake. The management of Moventas retains its 22% share of the company. Abo Banken, a Helsinki-based energy market analyst, says Swedish Industri Kapital may be a better company than Capman to lead Moventas in future. "If you look at Capman's portfolio you will find that energy related engineering companies are thin on the ground," says Abo Banken. "This is not one of the Capman group's specialised areas. Capman has played its primary role well. It has guided Moventas to where it is now and transferred its ownership to Industri Kapital, a venture capital company with a higher degree of expertise in Moventas' core operating areas." Industri Kapital's Michael Rosenlew says: "It will be possible to leverage the company's technical strengths and take Moventas to the next stage in its development."

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