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Vestas shares hit by Indian rival's acquisition

Written by: Staff
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COPENHAGEN, Mar 17 (Reuters) Shares in Danish wind turbine maker Vestas slid by up to 4 per cent on Friday after an Indian rival said it had acquired indirectly a key supplier of gearboxes for Vestas windmills.

Vestas shares were down 1.5 per cent at 127.75 Danish crowns by 0927 GMT (1457 IST) after earlier falling as low as 124 crowns, while the Copenhagen benchmark index was up 0.3 per cent.

The stock is up about 22 per cent this year but far from peak levels of around 450 crowns set in 2000.

Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd. said on Friday it had bought Belgium's EVE Holding NV for 465 million euros (5 million) in equity and debt in India's second-largest foreign corporate takeover ever.

With the acquisition, Suzlon also indirectly gets ownership of Antwerp-based Hansen Transmissions International, a supplier of components to Vestas in a tight market.

Alfred Berg analyst Kitty Groen said: ''Strategically this is clearly negative (for Vestas).

''In the short term, I still think they will get deliveries according to their agreement. But in the long run, it depends on what strategy they take at Hansen,'' Groen said.

Hansen Transmissions has about 23 per cent of the market for gearboxes, and Vestas is clearly its most important customer, accounting for about 65 to 70 per cent of sales, one analyst said.

Hansen Transmissions is the only producer of the V90 gearbox used in Vestas' newest turbines. Gearboxes are one of the most complex components of wind turbines.

''It is tricky to have close cooperation with a company owned by a competitor,'' Groen said.

Vestas had the opportunity to take over Hansen but decided against it, probably for financial reasons, she said.

Vestas had no immediate comment on the report of Suzlon's takeover.

''Gear box and turbine technologies are the key bottlenecks in our industry,'' Suzlon Chairman Tulsi Tanti told Reuters in a phone interview.

Suzlon shares were up 1.5 per cent in a firm Mumbai market.

REUTERS SD DS1615

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