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EC probes incorrect, misleading info in GE-LM Wind deal

The Cherbourg plant will have the capability to manufacture the world's longest blade at 88.4 meters. Image by LM Wind.

July 6 (Renewables Now) - The European Commission (EC) is investigating General Electric (NYSE:GE) for breaches of the EU merger procedural rules in relation to the now-closed acquisition of Danish wind turbine blades maker LM Wind Power.

The current probe will not have an impact on the EC decision to okay the deal, the commission said in a Thursday statement. It warned, however, that GE could face a fine of up to 1% of its annual global revenue if the EC finds that the company “intentionally or negligently supplied incorrect or misleading information”.

In a Statement of Objections sent to GE, the EC alleges that there was incorrect or misleading information in the US company's notification on January 11, 2017 of the LM Wind transaction. More specifically, GE failed to inform the Commission of certain research and development (R&D) activities and the development of a specific product.

The notification was withdrawn by GE on February 2 and replaced on February 13 with a second notification containing the missing information on the future project.

The EC needed the information to properly assess the future position of GE and the competitive landscape on the wind turbine markets. It points out that the information was important for the assessment of both the GE-LM Wind deal and the merger between Spanish turbine maker Gamesa and Siemens Wind Power, which was completed in April.

GE completed its EUR-1.5-billion (USD 1.7bn) takeover of LM Wind in April, after receiving all necessary approvals in the EU, the US, China and Brazil. The EC gave its unconditional nod in March as it determined that competitive concerns would be unlikely to arise following the transaction.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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