photo: Clipper Windpower
Tech and defense industry conglomerate United Technologies has shown growing interest in alternative energy and this week it bought nearly half of California wind turbine maker Clipper Windpower. As I write Friday in The New York Times:
United Technologies, a global industrial heavyweight, will invest $270 million for a 49.5 percent stake in Clipper Windpower, a struggling California-based turbine maker.
The deal, announced this week, marks a change in the ownership structure for one of the few major American-owned turbine makers. (Another is General Electric.)
United Technologies, a Hartford-based parent company to businesses such as jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney and elevator maker Otis, has recently shown interest in alternative energy. For example, it has licensed its molten salt storage technology to solar power plant builder SolarReserve.
In a statement on Wednesday, United Technologies said that it “expects to work closely with Clipper Windpower to improve the company’s core technology, manufacturing, product quality, and supply management capabilities.”
The agreement, the company added, “allows U.T.C. to expand its power generation portfolio and enter the high-growth wind power segment.”
Clipper, which is listed on London’s A.I.M. stock exchange, began to look for investors earlier this year as the global recession took its toll and customers delayed turbine orders. Millions of dollars spent fixing defects in some older turbines further sapped Clipper’s cash flow. Its share price rose by close to 20 percent on Thursday, after the deal was announced.
Douglas Pertz, Clipper’s chief executive, said in an interview on Friday that he expects to see the market revive in the latter half of 2010. (On Thursday, G.E. announced a $1.4 billion deal to supply turbines to what would be the nation’s largest wind farm, in Oregon.)
United Technologies has agreed not to acquire additional shares of Clipper for two years following the close of the deal.
Mr. Pertz argued that there are similarities between General Electric and United Technologies — as well as a bit of history.
You can read the rest of the story here.