Wind Power

Clipper Windpower Seeking Cash

Yesterday wind turbine manufacturer, Clipper Windpower released its interim results indicating that even though the company has seen significant improvement to its gross margins, it is seeking working capital to offset the volatility that it has experienced in its cash flow, according to Mike Keane, CFO.

In the first six months of the year, the company reported earning $154 million from the sale of 43 turbines.  In 2009, it reported selling 127 turbines with earnings of $357 million.  Keane wouldn’t disclose how many turbines the company has sold to date but he said that the company expects to complete the sale of 140 to 150 turbines by the end of the year, in line with expectations.

The company has experienced cash flow volatility, said Keane, “and anytime there is volatility there is risk.”  A deal with UTC would help. 

Some media outlets are reporting that Clipper is seeking a takeover from UTC, which owns a 49.5% stake in Clipper. UTC has the opportunity to increase its stake to 55%, according to Clipper, with UTC having submitted a new non-binding indication of interest to purchase the remaining issued shares at a significant premium to the September 23, 2010 market-trading price.

In its results announcement Clipper states: “The Directors have concluded that, in the absence of an acceptable binding offer for the remaining shares in the company by UTC, or agreement on another substantive new financing transaction at this time, the current business circumstances create a material uncertainty that casts significant doubt on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. Therefore the Group may be unable to realize its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.”

Clipper says that discussions with UTC are ongoing, but there is no assurance the parties will reach agreement on a transaction that can be recommended to shareholders.

The wind market overall has been suffering from slower installations worldwide.  In April, RenewableEnergyWorld.com reported that installation figures for Q1 2010 at 530 MW, were the lowest since 2007.