Andritz to acquire GE Hydro assets, technology

Austria-based technology group Andritz announced May 2 it has agreed with General Electric of the United States to buy certain assets of GE Energy’s Hydro business.

The closing of the transaction, which is subject to approval by antitrust authorities, is expected to take place in the next few months. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Andritz said it would acquire GE Energy’s hydropower technology and certain other assets, including engineering and project management resources, research and development capabilities, and specialized generator component production facilities in Canada. It said the activities have a total staff of about 200.

Andritz said the GE Hydro assets would compliment its existing portfolio in the field of large Francis-type turbines and generators of 400 MW or more. In addition, the company said it expects to increase its hydropower presence in North America and fast-growing emerging markets.

Andritz Group, a leader in advanced production systems for pulp and paper, steel, and other specialized industries, moved fully into hydropower in 2006 with the acquisition of another major hydropower equipment manufacturer, VA Tech Hydro, from Siemens Austria for between US$218 million and US$230 million. (HNN 6/7/06)

Plans for specific GE Hydro facilities were not immediately available. It also was not immediately disclosed how the Andritz deal would affect GE Hydro’s announced restructuring in 2007.

In 2007, General Electric announced global restructuring of its GE Hydro unit to focus on areas of future growth. (HNN 10/15/07) At that time, its GE Canada office said GE Hydro’s Schenectady, N.Y., headquarters would be moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in response to business trends.

Sao Paulo was chosen due to GE’s joint venture with Inepar S.A. Industria e Construcoes of Brazil, GE Hydro Inepar. Additionally, GE was to transfer hydro testing technology to Brazil and to reorganize or wind down turbine manufacturing and engineering operations in Canada.

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