UAE firm buys stake in Finnish company for $177 mn

September 23rd, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai/Chennai, Sep 23 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) renewable energy firm Masdar has acquired 40 percent stake in a Finnish wind turbine manufacturer for $177.3 million to become a key player in the global energy market. Controlling stake in the company WinWinD Oy is with India’s Sterling Infotech Group.Masdar has paid 120 million euros ($177.3 million) to acquire the stake in WinWinD Oy. With this investment, Masdar has established its presence in all forms of renewable energy, Masdar said in a statement.

“Wind plays a crucial part within renewable energy as it is commercially competitive today. It is important for Masdar to be part of that growth,” Masdar Chief Executive Sultan Al Jaber said.

Sterling Infotech Group Chief Executive Vaidyanathan Srinivasan told IANS in Chennai that his company has not sold any part of the 90 percent stake. He described the Abu Dhabi-headquartered Masdar’s acquisition as a strategic move.

He said the funds infused in WinWinD Oy would be used for expanding its European and Indian operations.

Al Jaber said owning a stake in WinWinD Oy was important as the Finnish company was on the verge of becoming “a truly global wind company servicing several key markets like Scandinavia, the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia”.

WinWinD Oy is a manufacturer active in the design, development and assembly of technologically advanced 1 MW and 3 MW wind turbines.

Srinivasan said: “This deal is a great opportunity for WinWinD Oy and its shareholders and it will propel the company into significantly larger markets. In Europe, the demand for 3 MW turbines is increasing, necessitating capacity expansion”.

In 2006, Sterling Infotech, through one of its constituents Avis Ventures, had acquired 40 percent stake in WinWinD Oy for 22 million euros. Subsequently, the stake was increased to 90 percent for an undisclosed amount.

WinWinD Oy’s Executive Chairman Lassi Noponen said the Masdar deal would help the company develop further. “This investment also beacons the breakthrough of WinwinD’s utility class technology and ensures that wind energy remains a key part of the renewable energy solutions required to meet the ever increasing global demand for energy,” he said.

Masdar will work in partnership with the management of WinWinD Oy and its majority owner Sterling Infotech Group to accelerate WinWinD’s geographic expansion India, the Middle East and Europe.

Masdar will hold three board seats on the WinWinD Oy board and will share important experience gained in the renewable energy domain.

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