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Wind energy as key driver for carbon fiber growth, SGL
Sep '08
SGL Group - The Carbon Company - announced its acquisition of a 51-percent majority share of Abeking & Rasmussen Rotec GmbH & Co KG, one of the leading independent manufacturers of rotor blades for wind turbines. The SGL Group will assume managerial responsibility of this joint venture.

The purchase price is kept confidential under a non-disclosure agreement between both parties. With 300 employees at its Lemwerder site near Bremen A&R Rotec expects a turnover of approximately €50 million in 2008.

The joint venture will operate under the name “SGL Rotec GmbH & Co KG” and will be based in Lemwerder. The target is to position SGL Rotec as a leading rotor blade manufacturer with “best-in-class” manufacturing know-how and to expand into wind energy markets like China, India, Turkey, and North America by establishing local production sites. The transaction is still subject to the approval of the German antitrust authorities.

Hariolf Kottmann, Member of the Board of Management and responsible for the Business Area Advanced Materials: “With this acquisition, SGL Group strengthens its market position as the sole European integrated carbon fiber and composites manufacturer in the dynamically growing wind energy sector.

This forward integration into rotor blade manufacture is therefore a logical and important step in our carbon fiber and composites growth strategy.

It enables us to cover the complete value chain and to offer end-to-end services to customers as a reliable partner in the wind energy sector.” Forward integration is a profound component in the CFC strategy.

As an independent supplier, SGL Rotec will manufacture rotor blades in close cooperation with customers and exclusively based on their “build-to-print” design requirements, a strategy that is being supported by major customers in the wind energy sector.

The forward integration into blade manufacturing complements SGL Group's activities in the Carbon Fibers & Composites (CFC) Business Unit, covering now the entire value chain related to the wind energy sector, which includes precursor and carbon fiber production, followed by fabrics, preforms and prepregs, as well as rotor blade components and finished rotor blades.

Customers of SGL in the wind energy sector will have a sustainable supply security, one of the key success factor in this industry.

Abeking & Rasmussen Rotec specializes in manufacturing of high-grade rotor blades. The company has long-term supply agreements with a number of leading wind turbine manufacturers.

It has a stake in Powerblades GmbH, a joint venture with REpower Systems AG for developing off-shore rotor blades with lengths over 60m. Rotec also maintains a close business relationship with SGL Kümpers, another supplier to the wind industry.

Already, SGL Group is delivering carbon fiber based key materials along the entire value chain for rotor blade manufacturing.

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