Bridges partners with GEV to support growth of wind power market
Bridges Fund Management has acquired GEV Wind Power (“GEV”), one of the world’s leading wind turbine repair and maintenance providers, from Maven Capital Partners. The existing management team, led by CEO David Fletcher, is re-investing as part of the deal and will continue to lead the business in this growth market.
We must produce more energy from renewable sources to have any hope of reducing global carbon emissions in the coming years. The UK’s National Grid recently said 2019 will be the first year that fossil fuels account for less than half of the UK’s energy production – and with the cost of wind energy production now comparable to the cost of producing energy from fossil fuels, it is becoming an increasingly attractive option. As a result, the number of wind turbines is forecast to grow at c.8% per annum over the next five years.
GEV provides high-value blade repair and maintenance services to wind farm manufacturers and operators in the UK, Europe and the US, operating both onshore and in complex offshore environments. Wind turbine blades are susceptible to erosion and weather damage, which affects aerodynamic efficiency and reduces their energy production (and can sometimes stop the turbine operating altogether). GEV specialises in providing expert technicians to repair blades, reducing downtime and maximising production. It has repaired over 3,000 turbines to date – and with turbines increasing in size and rotating faster, making them more prone to damage, GEV has a vital role to play in supporting the growth and resilience of this sector.
Bridges is investing via its Sustainable Growth Funds, which invest in high-growth business that are supporting the transition to a more sustainable economy. Bridges has a longstanding interest in renewable energy as part of its ‘Sustainable Planet’ theme, and studied the wind turbine maintenance market in detail as part of its thematic analysis. This enabled it to identify GEV as a best-in-class operator – and a strong alignment with management on strategy and impact resulted in Bridges being selected as the preferred bidder in a highly competitive process.
The deal was led by James Hurrell and Daniel Knight at Bridges. Investec has provided acquisition funding for the transaction as well as ongoing banking facilities.
David Fletcher, CEO of GEV, says: “Over the last few years GEV has established itself as a global market-leader in wind turbine blade repair and maintenance. We are now excited to be partnering with Bridges as we embark on our next growth phase. It was very clear when we met the Bridges team that we had very similar values and a very similar vision for what GEV could achieve. We look forward to working with Bridges to scale the business and optimise our impact.”
James Hurrell, Partner at Bridges, says: “We are delighted to be backing David and team to grow GEV. We have been looking for the right opportunity in the renewables sector for some time; and in GEV, we see a business with strong momentum in a large and global market. We are excited about the expansion opportunities ahead; and we’re also delighted to be contributing to the growth of the wind turbine market, given the critical role it can play in addressing our global climate challenge.”
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