April 26, 2019 / 11:45 AM / 24 days ago

Private equity, rivals looking into buying Senvion: CEO

BERLIN (Reuters) - Large wind turbine companies and private equity firms are interested in buying insolvent German group Senvion, Chief Executive Yves Rannou told Reuters in an interview published on Friday.

“We see significant interest for Senvion from across the board - from financial investors, from strategic parties in the sector, and beyond,” he said, adding that Senvion had mandated Rothschild to find an investor.

“I am positively surprised by how many companies are looking at us, including the big players in our sector who are looking very closely,” he added.

Siemens unit Gamesa and Denmark’s Vestas are Europe’s largest wind turbine vendors.

Senvion earlier in April filed for insolvency, but said the objective of the proceedings was to transform the company.

Rannou reiterated this objective in the interview, adding: “I see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Wind turbine manufacturers are having to build up scale to cut costs after the industry saw a rapid decline in revenue as it moves away from guaranteed subsidies toward auction-based systems that favor the lowest bidders.

But there are also promising projects in the pipeline for the next decade, when Senvion and sector peers are looking into double-digit megawatt (MW) offshore turbines across the globe.

Senvion last week agreed a 100 million euro ($111.32 million) 12-month loan with banks and hedge funds to stay afloat and continue operations.

Asked about the workforce, Rannou said he could not gauge how many of the 4,000 employees may stay on board.

“My goal is to find a secure future for Senvion, with as many jobs as possible,” he said.

Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Tassilo Hummel and Vera Eckert; Editing by Michelle Martin

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