Vaisala buying French wind LiDARs maker Leosphere

Leosphere’s Windcube. Source: Vaisala

October 17 (Renewables Now) - Finnish environmental and industrial measurement specialist Vaisala Corp (HEL:VAIAS) said today it is acquiring Leosphere SAS, a French company that makes LiDAR equipment for wind farms.

Vaisala is buying Leosphere for EUR 38 million (USD 44m) on a cash and debt free basis. The transaction, which is expected to close later this month, is being financed partly with cash and partly with interest-bearing debt.

The acquired business designs, develops, manufactures, sells and services remote-sensing tools for the wind energy, aviation, meteorology and air quality sectors. It offers both ground-based and turbine-mounted wind LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems. Last year, the firm achieved a double-digit operating profit on net sales of about EUR 27 million.

Following the takeover, Leosphere’s Windcube and Wind Iris LiDARs will be added to Vaisala’s offerings such as the Triton Wind Profiler, a SoDAR (Sonic Detection and Ranging) system that has already been deployed on almost 5,000 measurement campaigns around the world.

“Adoption of these more versatile measurement technologies to augment conventional met towers is a key factor in enabling the wind industry to increase the scale of project development, not only through larger, more advanced turbines, but also in new, remote markets worldwide,” commented Jarkko Sairanen, executive vice president of Weather and Environment at Vaisala. He further noted that both the LiDAR and SoDAR technologies “have their place in a cost-effective, bankable wind measurement campaign”.

Vaisala noted it expects this purchase to contribute some EUR 10 million in net sales with a roughly 10% earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margin in the fourth quarter of the year. This is reflected in the company’s new 2018 sales and EBIT forecast ranges of EUR 340 million-360 million and EUR 30 million-36 million, respectively.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.154)

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