April 4, 2018 / 3:18 PM / a year ago

Siemens seeks to end Siemens Gamesa stand-off with Iberdrola

FILE PHOTO - A logo of Siemens is pictured on a building in Mexico City, Mexico, May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

FRANKFURT/MADRID (Reuters) - Siemens (SIEGn.DE) sought on Wednesday to end a row with Spanish utility Iberdrola (IBE.MC) over the running of Siemens Gamesa (SGREN.MC), the world’s second-largest wind turbine maker.

Iberdrola is unhappy with Siemens’ influence over Siemens Gamesa following a merger last year which left it with 8.1 percent and Siemens with 59 percent of the combined firm.

The conflict came to a head at Siemens Gamesa’s annual general meeting last month when several motions by Iberdrola, which was previously Gamesa’s top shareholder, were dismissed.

“Iberdrola is both a very valued customer and an important shareholder of Siemens Gamesa. We’re long term partners in many ways,” Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser said after meeting Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galan on Wednesday.

Kaeser said Siemens and Iberdrola had an ongoing and open dialogue, while Iberdrola declined to comment.

However, a source with knowledge of the meeting said the Spanish group was not satisfied and that it would continue to push for more transparency at Siemens Gamesa.

Wind turbine manufacturers are facing relentless pricing pressure as governments slash subsidies for renewables to force them into competition with conventional energy sources.

Shares in Siemens Gamesa have lost 38 percent since the merger became effective last year, compared with a 25-percent decline at Danish sector-leader Vestas (VWS.CO).

“It’s understandable that some shareholders weren’t happy - nor were we,” Kaeser said, adding that Siemens will nevertheless remain a committed long-term shareholder in Siemens Gamesa.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Jose Elias Rodriguez; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Alexander Smith

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