Areva sells Repower stake to Suzlon

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French nuclear giant Areva has sold its 30% stake in German wind turbine maker Repower to India's Suzlon for more than EUR 350 million. The transaction concludes an agreement from May last year when Suzlon won a takeover battle for Repower between the two, which gave Areva the option of selling its shares to the Indian firm at a guaranteed price. Areva has since acquired a 51% stake in Multibrid, another German turbine manufacturer. Multibrid makes 5 MW units for the offshore market. "Acquiring Multibrid gave us a firm foothold on the offshore wind market and access to state-of-the-art technology. It therefore made sense for us to sell our stake in Repower," says Areva. The company acquired a 21.1% share in Repower in 2005 when the turbine builder was in financial difficulty. Areva's exit consolidates Suzlon's holding in Repower to around 66%. Portuguese construction company Martifer holds 23%, although a pooling arrangement means its voting rights lie with Suzlon. After May 25, 2009, the Indian firm is allowed to ask Martifer to sell it its stake for EUR 131 a share, as agreed in the original takeover deal. Martifer can also ask Suzlon to buy out as of that date at the same price. Suzlon provided Martifer with a bank guarantee "issued as guarantee of fulfilment of its obligations arising from Martifer's sell option." Martifer classes its stake as a non-current asset available for sale. The remaining 13.5% of Repower shares are in free float.

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