UPDATE 1-Nordex pulls out of offshore wind business

Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:14am EDT

* Says business unit offshore will be discontinued

* Says business exit will not affect outlook

* Says goal is to strengthen business with onshore turbines (Adds details, background)

FRANKFURT, April 18 (Reuters) - German wind turbine maker Nordex will abandon efforts to develop offshore turbines after negotiations with a partner to form a joint venture failed, the Hamburg-based group said on Wednesday.

Nordex said the termination of the offshore business would not have any impact on its earnings outlook, adding it would sell the respective assets to other interested parties and assign any affected personnel to other units within the company.

"Going forward, the goal is to strengthen the development of onshore turbines," Nordex said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Nordex Chief Executive Juergen Zeschky said he hoped talks regarding an offshore joint venture would be concluded successfully in the coming months.

Nordex is partly owned by Germany's Klatten family, which owns 24.99 percent of the company. Susanne Klatten is Germany's richest woman and is also a major shareholder in German carmaker BMW.

The company had said more than 150 million euros ($197 million) in investments were needed to enter serial production of offshore wind turbines.

In Germany, the expansion of offshore wind turbines currently suffers significant delays due to regulatory uncertainty, including legal liability risks.

For instance, grid operators must compensate wind park operators if power lines break down, which is discouraging them from building connections to offshore parks. So investors in wind parks have no guarantee they will be able to sell their power.

Nordex competes with Denmark's Vestas, Spain's Gamesa, China's Sinovel, Germany's Siemens and U.S.-based General Electric. ($1=0.7610 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

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