Italian cable giant pays €53m for Global Marine Energy

Prysmian acquisition focuses on offshore wind market share

Prysmian has announced that it will pay €53m to acquire subsea cable installation, repair and maintenance firm, Global Marine Energy (GME). Announcing the purchase, the Milan-based cable manufacturer explained that via GME, it plans to expand its involvement in offshore wind "turnkey" projects.

GME is a strong player in the European offshore wind cable installation market. Recently, it won a 20-year repair and maintenance contract for the export cable linking Ormonde offshore wind farm with the land-based network.

This year alone, GME has worked on cable installation and pre-engineering studies for offshore wind projects in UK, German and Belgian waters, contributing to: London Array, Gwynt y Môr, Global Tech 1, and Thornton Bank 3. Other offshore wind farms in its project portfolio include Greater Gabbard, Barrow, Horns Rev, Alpha Ventus and Princess Amalia.

Vertical integration

Explaining the thinking behind the acquisition, Prysmian chief executive, Valerio Battista, said: "The expansion of submarine power cable installation capability allows us to have a tighter control over the supply chain, by insourcing part of the work that until now we haven’t done directly, such as inter-array cable installation between turbines."

"Our goal is to increasingly present ourselves as a partner able to offer turnkey products and services including design, manufacture and installation, anticipating a growing need of our utility and contractor/developer customers, particularly where offshore wind farms are concerned," added Battista.

Prysmian is one of the world’s leading energy and telecoms cable manufacturers. Its offshore wind capability includes production of export and inter-array cables and its group-wide order book stands at €1.7bn. Some of Prysmian’s competitors, such as Nexans, are already vertically integrated and, thus, active in offshore wind cable installation.

GME’s 2012 turnover is forecast to be about €75m. Its North Sea offshore wind projects have been specifically identified by Prysmian as aligning well with its expansion of subsea cable production capacity. Prysmian manufactures subsea cables in Italy, Finland and Norway.

Until the acquisition is complete, GME will remain part of Global Marine Systems, a privately-owned subsea cable engineering company, boasting the world’s largest fleet of cable ships and related subsea vehicles. GME’s cable-laying fleet forms part of the acquisition deal.

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