In a bid to reinforce its position in CO2-free energy technologies, French nuclear group Areva has announced a public tender offer for the remaining shares of Germany-based wind turbine manufacturer REpower Systems, of which it already owns 29.99%.

Areva has been a strategic investor in REpower since September 2005, and is now offering E105 per remaining share, valuing REpower’s equity at E850 million. According to Areva, this represents 17% premium over the closing share price prior to its announcement, and 44% premium over the three-month average share price.

REpower, which specializes in high output turbine technology particularly suitable for offshore turbines, announced forecast revenues of E450 million for 2006. Areva said that the complementary operating strengths of the combined businesses will create a strong platform for long-term growth in the fast-developing worldwide wind energy sector.

Areva commented that the acquisition will complement its strategy of combining nuclear and renewable energies, and said: REpower already has a strong competitive advantage in this area by being the leader in 5MW turbines for offshore applications. The combination of Areva and REpower will create a worldwide center of excellence in wind energy based in Germany.