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Suzlon scraps rights issue plan

By B S Reporters in New Delhi/ Mumbai
October 29, 2008 11:36 IST
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Suzlon Energy, the world's fifth largest wind turbine maker, said on October 28 that it has suspended its Rs 1,800 crore (Rs 18 billion) rights issue plan in view of the recent capital market environment.

Suzlon, in a statement to stock exchanges, said it's also suspending negotiations to conclude a domination agreement with its major subsidiary REpower Systems. At present, Suzlon Energy has 66 per cent stake in the Germany-based firm.

"The decision for the suspension of the rights issue has been taken because of the current market conditions. But we have time till May next year to complete our stake buy in REpower to 90 per cent," said a senior official of the company.

Last month, the company had announced its proposal of acquiring 22.48 per cent stake from Portugal-based Martifer SGPS in its subsidiary REpower Systems of Germany for 270 million euros (Rs 1,744 crore or Rs 17.44 billion).

The stake buy is a part of Suzlon's deal, which was signed two years ago, with French energy major Areva and Portugal's real estate group Martifer -- the two major shareholders in REpower at the time of its acquisition two years ago for 1.35 billion euros (about Rs 7,314 crore or Rs 73.14 billion).

GONE WITH THE WIND

  • Suzlon Energy announced in September its plans to raise Rs 1,800 crore (Rs 18 billion) to buy an additional stake in REpower Systems
  • The wind-turbine maker planned to raise the money to fund the $ 334 million purchase of a 22% stake held by Martifer in REpower
  • The company already owns 66% of REpower and 89% of the voting rights in the German company
  • The purchase of Martifer's stake is scheduled to take place before December 15
  • The deal was structured in such a manner that Suzlon would buy Martifer's stake within two years for a price of 265-270 million euros. "The company may have to sell assets to fulfil its global expansion plan," said an analyst with a foreign brokerage who did not wish to be quoted. The company has stake in gearbox-maker Hansen Transmission International NV, based in Belgium. Suzlon needs to buys Martifer's stake before December 15.

    In May, Tulsi Tanti, chairman and managing director of Suzlon, told Business Standard that the company had firmed up syndicated loans to fund the acquisition of Areva and Martifer shares, which required more than Rs 7,000 crore (Rs 70 billion). Details of these loans were not known.

    Suzlon is grappling with problems of cracking of its V2 blades. The company's blades cracked under certain wind conditions after which a unit of Southern California's Edison International cancelled an order for 150 turbines in June.

    Under German corporate laws, Suzlon needed to acquire one more large block of shares and offer to buy out minority shareholders before it could transfer technology from the German company. This could have helped the company resolve some of the technology-related issues.

    A blade on one of the four wind turbines sold by Suzlon to AgriWind wind farm in Illinois broke off on October 22, pjstar.com reported. The blades on all four turbines on the farm were scheduled to be replaced next week, it added, citing an unnamed Suzlon official.

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