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GE’s acquisition of LM Wind Power gets EU approval

Published 21 March 2017

General Electric’s (GE) bid to acquire the Danish wind turbine blade-maker LM Wind Power has received an unconditional approval from the European Commission.

The acquisition was proposed back in last October and the transaction, which was priced at €1.5bn, was expected to close in the first half of this year.

The European Commission, in its approval, stated that it conducted investigation to assess the impact of the transaction on the competition and concluded that the merged company will continue to face effective competition in the continent.

While General Electric has a relatively small share in both onshore and offshore wind turbines, LM Wind Power has a significant market presence.

The transaction has been valued at 8.3 times of LM Wind Power’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for 2016.

Last year, the company reported sales of €491m and the EBITDA was €87m and it represented a year on year growth of 40% and 81%. In February this year, the Danish company has opened a new blade-making factory in Cherbourg, France.

The Commission stated: “Competitive concerns would be unlikely to arise after the transaction because GE would not be in a position to significantly affect the upstream market. In particular since competing blade manufacturers would continue to have access to wind turbine manufacturers other than GE.

“In relation to the downstream markets, GE would continue to face significant competition from other major turbine manufacturers, such as Siemens, (MHI) Vestas, Nordex and Senvion, who either manufacture their blades in-house and/or are not dependent on LM Wind Power for supplies.”

After starting operations as a furniture manufacturer in 1940, LM Wind Power has now emerged as one of the leading manufacturers of rotor blades for the wind industry. The companay has 13 manufacturing facilities in eight countries across four continents.

Recently, the European Commission had also given its approval for the merger of Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa, which would create a company with turnover of about €11bn.

Image: EU approves GE’s acquisition of LM Wind Power. Photo: Courtesy of prozac1/FreeDigitalPhotos.net