General Electric’s (GE) $1.65bn acquisition of Danish wind turbine blades supplier LM Wind Power from Doughty Hanson has been unconditionally approved by the European Commission (EC).

The EC evaluated that the merged entity would not affect competition in the wind power sector in Europe.

US-based GE manufactures wind turbines for both onshore and offshore power plants, while LM Wind Power manufactures blades used as components in wind turbines that are sold to GE and also its competitors in the field.

In its investigation, the Commission looked into the effect caused by the acquisition, which was announced in October last year, on the upstream markets for the rotor blades’ manufacture and supply and also on the downstream markets for onshore and offshore wind turbines’ manufacture and supply.

As per the regulator, GE doesn’t have a huge market share in onshore as well as offshore wind turbines. The EC said that although LM Wind Power does have a considerable market share, its position in the industry has been declining though in the recent times.

LM Wind Power’s in-house production of rotor blades has also been taken into consideration by the EC before clearing the deal.

When it comes to the downstream markets, the EC said that the acquisition would not give any unfair advantage to GE in its competition with other major turbine manufacturers like Siemens, (MHI) Vestas, Senvion, and Nordex who are either into in-house blades manufacture and/or are not dependent on LM Wind Power for supplies.

The EC said that based on the factors, it has judged that the proposed acquisition will have little impact in competition in the European Union’s Single Market.


Image: GE’s acquisition of LM Wind Power cleared by EC. Photo: courtesy of GE Renewable Energy.