Vestas: No M&A with new capital

The proceeds of the share issue announced by Danish wind giant Vestas will not be used to fund mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity, or be sunk into the new offshore joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the company insisted today.

CEO Anders Runevad said the planned issue – which could raise about €450m ($608m) – would be used in line with the company’s organic growth strategy.

"Our strategy is based on organic growth. We're clear on that, we have not included any M&A, that is not the reason. There is no change to our JV with MHI," Runevad said, responding to a question by Recharge Insight director Robert Clover at the Vestas analyst meeting in Copenhagen earlier.

Clover, who is heading Recharge's new analysis service, also quizzed Runevad on the company’s ambitions for emerging markets.

Runevad said South Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, as well as Asia outside China, have all shown promise for Vestas.

But he added that China, India and Brazil remain the “big three” among emerging wind sectors.

The meeting was the first significant appearance of  Runevad and his finance chief Marika Fredriksson  in front of analysts and media since they took the reins at the wind group last year.

A return to profitability in Q4 and the chance to declare success in the main planks of the group’s two-year turnaround strategy provided a more positive backdrop to Vestas results than for several years.

But the emphasis for the future direction of the company was on evolution, and anyone expecting fireworks from Runevad would have left disappointed.

He emphasized that Vestas’ future success would be built on lowering the cost of energy for its turbines, building a successful offshore business with Mitsubishi, where he said the JV was on track, and growing faster than the wind market as a whole.

Runevad also wants to grow Vestas’s service business by more than 30%, and the company will set up a new Service business unit reporting to the CEO.

Runevad said he would give the market more details of Vestas’ growth plans at its capital markets day on 12 June.