GE to buy Converteam for $3.2 billion

March 29, 2011 at 4:28 PM

ATLANTA, March 29 (UPI) -- U.S. corporate giant General Electric Co. said Tuesday it had agreed to buy French power conversion company Converteam for $3.2 billion.

The deal has been endorsed by Converteam's management and an employee representative group and is expected to close in the third quarter, GE said in a statement.

The transaction would transfer 90 percent of the French company to GE's control and leave a 10 percent stake held by Converteam's senior management.

Converteam specializes in industrial makeovers that improve energy efficiency and lower environmental impacts for its clients. It is also a specialist in wind, thermal and hydro power installations.

"High-efficiency, fully electric solutions represent a megatrend across the global energy landscape," said John Krenicki, who is vice chairman of GE and president and chairman of GE Energy. "Our customers in key industries increasingly demand more reliable, efficient and flexible solutions in order to improve their competitiveness."

The French company has 5,300 employees in more than 80 countries.

GE, rated by Forbes magazine last year as the world's second-biggest company, employs nearly 300,000 people in more than 100 countries. The conglomerate is involved in everything from energy and weapons production to household appliances and consumer electronics to aviation, entertainment and healthcare. It's headquarters are in Fairfield, Conn.

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