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GE acquires 90 percent stake in France-based Converteam

GE Energy has entered into an agreement to acquire approximately 90 percent of Converteam, a leading provider of electrification and automation equipment and systems, from a controlling shareholder group that includes management, Barclays Private Equity and LBO France, for approximately $3.2 billion.

The transaction, endorsed by Converteam's management team and employee representative groups, is expected to close during third quarter 2011, subject to customary closing conditions. Converteam is based in Massy, France.

Converteam's senior management will retain approximately a 10 percent stake in the company. GE and Converteam senior management have entered into agreements pursuant to which GE would purchase the remaining shares in the company over the next two to five years. The price for the shares can vary based on the time of sale, business performance, and other factors. GE expects that the price should be no greater than approximately $480 million.

Converteam's solutions enable customers in a variety of industries to replace or improve mechanical processes with high-efficiency electric alternatives that deliver better reliability, less maintenance, and lower emissions. Converteam's portfolio includes drives and other power electronics, advanced rotating machines, generators and controls.

Converteam recently was selected to supply major elements of electrical equipment for a 1-MW tidal turbine known as HS1000, Converteam announced.

The contract, awarded by Hammerfest Strom UK Ltd, includes the subsea generator and the shore based systems, including a power converter, transformers and switchgear. 

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