Pelamis Wave Power Looking for Strategic Partner (UK)

Pelamis Wave Power Looking for Strategic Partner (UK)

RENEWABLES firm Pelamis Wave Power is searching for a “strategic partner” that will allow it to become a large-scale manufacturer of marine energy devices.

The Leith-based company, known for its “sea snake” technology, announced in September that it had hired Ernst & Young to conduct a review of the business and to explore growth options.

But new chief executive Per Hornung Pedersen, who was appointed from German wind turbine manufacturer REpower Systems last month, told Scotland on Sunday that this review would centre around the search for a new funding “partner” capable of taking the 13-year-old company “to the next stage”.

 “Pelamis is actually on the edge of going to the next level,” Pedersen said. “You can also say we are going to have some different owners in there.”

Pedersen said that until now Pelamis had primarily been a research and development company. Although it has sold wave machines to several major energy firms, it needed to become a “manufacturer on a different scale”.

It would also need to team up with a larger company that had the experience and ability to carry out functions such as marketing on a much wider scale, Pederson added.

When asked if the changes in ownership would involve a sale or takeover of the business, he said: “The phrase… is strategic partner.”

Negotiations with potential funders are due to commence shortly and Pedersen hinted that he hoped to speak to several companies headquartered in Scotland, saying: “I could also see a couple of Scottish companies that would be relevant.”

Pelamis currently has contracts with ScottishPower Renewables and E.ON. Its shareholders include Emerald Technology Ventures, Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures, BlackRock Investment Managers, 3i, Carbon Trust, Nettuno Power, Tudor BVI Global Portfolio and Scottish Enterprise.

The latest accounts for the firm, filed recently at Companies House, show it made a loss before finance charges and taxation of almost £1.5 million in 2010 on turnover of £5.1m.

But the company also warns that at the “date of approval” of the accounts, which were signed off on 31 October, it had a cash balance of £1m, unaudited net liabilities of £2.6m and had “insufficient secured funding to continue as a going concern”.

Pedersen said this was “normal” for a technology developer such as Pelamis and the company had plenty of cause for optimism.

The accounts state that among other developments, discussions with customers for “substantial” future orders were “well-progressed”.

By Nathalie Thomas (scotsman)


Source: gloucestertimes, November 21, 2011; Image: pelamiswave