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Indian Kalyani to buy German wind firm

The Kalyani Group, which controls the world’s second-largest forging company, Bharat Forge, yesterday stepped up its presence in the fast-growing wind power sector with the acquisition of Germany’s wind turbine maker RSBconsult GmbH.

A spokesperson declined to reveal the size of the deal or the investment vehicle, citing a non-disclosure agreement between the companies. “We are already present in the wind energy sector, both as a wind farm operator as well as a supplier of components. The group, therefore, is ideally positioned to further enhance its role in this sector as a wind turbine manufacturer,” said B N Kalyani, chairman, Kalyani Group, about the acquisition. Shares of Bharat Forge, the flagship company of the Kalyani Group, closed 3.78% higher at Rs 274.50 on the news. However, shares of BF Utilities, which caters to the windmill division and financial services of Kalyani Group, fell 4.07% to Rs 2,035. The stock had gone up 15.44% in the past week.

Wind is becoming one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources. Other Indian wind power equipment companies like Suzlon Energy, which recently acquired German turbine maker RePower, are also leveraging the low costs in India to export equipment to the rapidly-expanding international market. There is growth of wind power in the domestic market too. India ranks fourth among the global producers of wind power. The countries with the highest installed wind capacity are Germany (20,621 MW), Spain (11,615 MW) and the US (11,603 MW).

To encourage wind power in the country, the government has introduced a package of incentives that includes tax holidays for generation projects, soft loans, customs and excise duty reliefs and liberalized foreign investment procedures. India is among the five countries that added more than 1,000 MW of wind power in 2006. Based in Muenster, Germany, RSBconsult GmbH was set up in September 2003 by experts from the wind energy sector as a design and consulting house. The company has end-to-end design capability from components to wind turbine systems. It works on wind industry projects with customers across Europe as well as in China, Japan and India. With the acquisition of RSBconsult, which has more than 150 man years of cumulative international experience with customers across the globe, the $2.1 billion Kalyani group will have a strong and experienced design and engineering team to take care of product technology. The group will bring in its global supply chain capabilities and engineering skills to drive the global business model and also manage the Asia Pacific market and operations from India.

Wind turbines require a number of forged, machined and other metal components and the acquisition will enhance the group’s ability to create a global component supply system to original equipment manufacturers and other leading wind power companies. Initially, the group will focus on Europe and India and by 2010 expand to other key markets of the world such as the US and China. (business-standard.com)