American Superconductor Buys Finnish Power Firm for $265M, Looks to Become $1B Company

3/14/11Follow @gthuang

A New England energy giant is making big strides overseas. Devens, MA-based American Superconductor (NASDAQ: AMSC) said today it plans to acquire The Switch Engineering Oy, a power technologies firm based in Finland, for 190 million Euros (about $265 million) in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close by the end of August.

American Superconductor, which focuses on wind power and other renewable energy technologies, says the acquisition will make money immediately and will support the firm’s growth to $1 billion in annual revenue by 2014. The Switch makes power converter systems, permanent magnet generators, and other equipment for wind turbine manufacturers in China, Europe, Korea, and the U.S. The Finnish company made a profit of about $15 million on $179 million in revenue in calendar year 2010.

AMSC’s fiscal year 2009 (ending March 31, 2010) was its first full year of profitability, thanks in large part to its wind power business. The company says it expects “another record year of revenues and earnings in fiscal 2010,” which ends this month.

AMSC, which was founded in 1987 by four MIT professors (including current CEO and chairman Greg Yurek), initially entered the wind power market in 2006-2007. The company has a strong presence in Europe, China, and India.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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