March 22, 2016 / 9:45 AM / 3 years ago

Siemens ready to buy Areva wind venture in Gamesa deal: paper

MUNICH/PARIS (Reuters) - Siemens (SIEGn.DE) is prepared to buy Spanish-French wind power joint venture Adwen as part of a planned merger of its wind assets with those of Spain’s Gamesa GAM.MC, Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

People enter a building of Siemens in Berlin November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Hannibal

Siemens and Gamesa plan to combine their wind assets to form the world’s biggest wind turbine maker with about 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in sales, overtaking current market leader Vestas (VWS.CO). But the deal has stumbled over how to deal with Adwen, Gamesa’s 50-50 joint venture with French state-owned nuclear group Areva. AREVA.PA

Citing sources, the paper said Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser was now ready to buy Areva’s stake in Adwen as part of the Gamesa deal. Siemens declined to comment.

Two sources told Reuters last week that Siemens did not want to fulfill certain parts of Adwen’s contracts, including an obligation to develop and build a jumbo offshore turbine in France.

A French economy ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday the government position on the Adwen deal would depend on the proposals it gets.

“What’s at stake for France is simple: the creation of a complete and competitive industry with a strong industrial presence in France,” she said.

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Monday a solution would have to come from the companies involved.

Macron was speaking in Deauville, close to Le Havre in western France, where Adwen is to build two factories to make its new 8 megawatt turbine.

“I want those factories to be built because we need this capacity,” Macron said in a television interview. “Since it looks probable that it will not be Adwen, they will be built by the partner that makes the best offer in terms of industry and employment,” he said.

Siemens Chairman Gerhard Cromme met with Macron in Paris at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday morning, according to Macron’s agenda.

Industry sources said a takeover of Adwen by Siemens would raise serious antitrust issues as it would further strengthen the German company’s dominance in offshore wind in Europe.

According to trade group EWEA, Siemens had a cumulative market share in offshore wind power in Europe of 63.5 pct of installed capacity at end 2015, followed by MHI Vestas with 18.5 pct, Senvion (SENG.DE) with 7.4 pct and Adwen with 5.7 pct. In terms of installations in 2015, Adwen came second with 18.2 percent.

A Siemens-Adwen combination would give Siemens a nearly 70 percent market share.

Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker in Munich and Leigh Thomas and Geert De Clercq in Paris; Writing by Georgina Prodhan and Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mark Potter and Jane Merriman

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