Andritz to acquire majority of GE Hydro Inepar

Austria-based technology group Andritz has agreed to acquire a majority interest in GE Hydro Inepar (GEHI) from General Electric of the United States.

In May, Andritz agreed to buy certain assets and technology of GE Energy’s Hydro business. (HNN 5/2/08)

Andritz said June 23 it signed an agreement with GE Energy to purchase the majority interest in the GEHI joint venture, which was formed in 1997. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The other principal shareholder in GEHI is the Brazilian conglomerate Inepar S.A.

GEHI has sales, engineering, and project management resources in Campinas, Brazil; Tampere, Finland; and Kristinehamm, Sweden, with a total staff of about 200. It also has a hydraulic testing laboratory and manufacturing capabilities in Tampere; production facilities in Araraquara, Brazil; and access to substantial production capabilities of Inepar.

The acquisition complements Andritz’ previous agreement to 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.

At the time of Andritz’ GE Hydro acquisition, it was not immediately disclosed how the deal would affect GE Hydro’s announced restructuring in 2007. (HNN 10/15/07) At that time, the 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 the existence of the GE Hydro Inepar joint venture with Inepar S.A. Industria e Construcoes of Brazil. Additionally, GE was to transfer hydro testing technology to Brazil and to reorganize or wind down turbine manufacturing and engineering operations in Canada.

Andritz previously said the closing of the GE Hydro transaction, which is subject to approval by antitrust authorities, was expected to take place in a few months.

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)

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