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GE Energy completes $3.2bn acquisition of Converteam
Published:  02 September, 2011

GE has completed its $3.2bn deal to acquire 90% of Converteam, which supplies power conversion and automation systems, as well as high-efficiency power electronics, motors and generators. The acquisition expands GE’s position in the energy efficiency, electrification and automation sectors, which were worth more than $30bn in 2010.

The deal is also in line with GE Energy’s commitment to create a centre of excellence for power conversion technology which, it hopes, will drive growth in many of its businesses. The acquired business will be run by GE veteran Joe Mastrangelo.

“GE is thrilled by the growth opportunities that this acquisition brings,” says John Krenicki (above), GE vice-chairman and president, and CEO of GE Energy. “GE will heavily invest in new product developments to further expand our offerings in core segments such as metals and marine, while addressing increasing demand for high energy efficiency in oil and gas, thermal power generation and renewables.”

Pierre Bastid, Converteam’s president and CEO adds that “the complementary capabilities of GE and Converteam will create a winning platform for success. GE’s brand and reputation as an engineering and technology provider are unmatched. Converteam brings a team of experts with deep domain knowledge in power conversion, equipped with a strong entrepreneurial mindset and unique technological expertise aligned to customers’ needs.

The US Department of Justice told GE recently that it must divest Converteam’s low-speed synchronous motors business to proceed with the deal, to ensure that competition is maintained, especially in the market for compressor motors for oil and gas applications.

Converteam, whose headquarters are in Massy, France, employs 5,500 people in 80 countries with expertise in six key vertical sectors: renewable energy; power generation; oil, gas and offshore; marine; industry; and services.

Its portfolio includes variable frequency drives and other power electronics, advanced motors and generators, as well as industrial automation and controls. Its products are used widely in the renewable energy sector to turn intermittent and variable power from solar, wind and tidal sources into high-quality, reliable power. Other products reduce the electricity consumed by industrial motors by up to a third.

GE Energy’s purchase of Converteam completes a string of recent acquisitions worth $11bn. GE’s acquisition strategy is to look for deals in infrastructure segments which complement its core technologies and where there are clear synergies. In the past nine months, it has bought Dresser, Wellstream Holdings, Lineage Power, and Well Support (from the John Wood Group).

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