Hansen Transmissions International NV (LSE: HSN) is an established global wind turbine gearbox and industrial gearbox designer, manufacturer and supplier, with a leading position (by MW supplied) in the wind turbine gearbox market.
Hansen Transmission's history goes back to 1923, when the company was founded in Antwerp under the name La Mécanique Générale (LMG). The company soon focused on the manufacturing of specialized transmission units, stimulated by the young engineer David Hansen. In 1939 the company moved to its current location in Edegem, to ensure there was sufficient room for future expansions. In 1950, Hansen founded the subsidiary Machinery & Gear Hansen (MGH). A merger of LMG and MGG in 1966 formed today's company, since 1972 under its current name Hansen Transmissions International (HTI). Since 1979, the company increasingly focused on the supply of gearboxes to the growing wind energy generation sector.
After a series of takeovers in the period after 1966, Hansen Transmissions was acquired on March 17th 2006 by Suzlon Energy through its subsidiary, AE-Rotor Holding BV, for € 465 million in cash from Allianz Capital Partners and Apax Partners. The transaction was the second largest foreign acquisition by an Indian company to date. The rationale of the acquisition was to secure access to the crucial supply of gearboxes for the wind turbine manufacturer. Hansen hoped to benefit from the regional knowledge and expertise of Suzlon Energy in its expansions in India.
Yet Suzlon subsequently struggled with a high debt burden. In December 2007, Hansen transmission was listed on the London Stock exchange. Suzlon continued to sell pieces of Hansen Transmissions in the years that followed, most notably in November 2009, selling a 35.22% share to repay an outstanding acquisition loan facility. The remaining share of Suzlon in Hansen is 26.1%, making it the largest shareholder.