|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's range||95.34 - 95.34|
|52-week range||95.34 - 95.34|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.89|
|PE ratio (TTM)||5.17|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||N/A|
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- I’m used to getting emails touting some startup’s plan for world domination. So when I got one from the CEO of a wind-energy firm with the subject line “Heading for the cliff,” I actually read it. It helped I had spoken already with Jereme Kent, who founded and runs One Energy Enterprises LLC, about a year ago. But it was more what you might call the radical candor of the message that got my attention.Based in Findlay, Ohio, One Energy designs, installs and runs distributed wind turbines and associated high-voltage site networks at industrial facilities. Distributed wind power — as opposed to big wind farms of multiple turbines — accounts for only about 1% of the overall wind fleet but capacity rose almost four-fold in the 10 years through 2018(1). One Energy has been around for a decade and installed roughly 40 megawatts of capacity so far, with appliance-maker Whirlpool Corp. and cement giant LafargeHolcim Ltd. among its clients. It touts the benefits of, among other things, reliability, hedged power costs, optimized energy use and, of course, green bragging rights. With turbines running at $3 million apiece, and maybe 1-3 per site, these aren’t utility-scale projects, but they are big-ticket items for a startup nonetheless, with contracts paying out over 20 years or more. So liquidity and access to capital mean everything. As Kent put it to me on a recent call: “Look, you have to learn about money and finance because if you’re an engineer who figures out how to cure cancer, but you can’t finance it, cancer’s not cured.”In 2016, One Energy needed a step-change in funding to fuel its next phase of growth. Having tried (and failed) to securitize projects with wind bonds, the company announced in January 2017 it had closed on an $80 million package of institutional funding, structured as senior and subordinated debt. This seemingly addressed both of One Energy’s broad financing needs, with the majority earmarked for projects and some to run the business too. Rather than financial covenants, it stipulated a certain pace of development in terms of project installations.The problem with this approach began to dawn on One Energy relatively quickly: namely, lack of flexibility. According to Kent, a delay of several months in the delivery of some turbines put the company in default on its installations covenant. This was waived, but it wasn’t the last time.In each instance, One Energy had to recalibrate itself to get back on schedule, ultimately creating a “growth at all costs mindset,” as Kent puts it. Growth is essential, of course, but the risk is spiraling costs and strains on operations. While Kent says “we didn’t have kombucha in the fountains,” the growth imperative had a negative impact in other ways. For example, with the emphasis on getting any new projects executed as fast as possible, the company hired preemptively to have people in place ahead of new contracts being signed. This was a change of pace from the prior approach, inevitably raising overhead (and compounding the default). Kent says that while turnover was low at the operating level, all executives hired after 2016 ultimately left. That’s a lot of invested time and money slipping out the door.One Energy has spent much of the past year or so trying to find new investors to take out the existing debt facility and provide a new source of project financing. Besides the distraction involved, when potential new funding deals fell through — one on closing day — that meant suspending new sales and, ultimately, firing more than half the employees. It’s the definition of a spiral.The nub of the problem here was One Energy’s reliance on debt, in effect treating the higher-cost subordinated tranche in its original financing round as something approximating equity. However, while equity tends to be patient about stuff like project delays, debt is debt — and default is toxic. Ideally, the company would have raised a big slug of project finance to feed the project pipeline and then hustled up an equity buffer to fund the business and absorb the inevitable setbacks.Rob Day is a partner at Spring Lane Capital, a Boston-based fund that invests project equity and corporate funding in startups operating distributed assets in sustainability-linked industries like energy and water. “Rarely have I seen in clean-tech that companies fail because they picked a bad market or the tech didn’t work out. What hits these companies more often than not is financing,” he says. A particular problem, according to Day, is a relative dearth of funding options between venture capital and traditional project finance targeting large-scale projects.Apart from describing the gap Spring Lane aims to fill, that also pretty much sums up One Energy’s struggle to secure a capital structure that fits its in between model: small-but-big-ticket and poised between initial projects and accelerated expansion. Competition between centralized and distributed resources is a defining characteristic of today’s energy market, with the narrative often framed in terms of this or that technology. One Energy’s experience is a reminder that new entrants need as much innovation on the money front as they do in the workshop.(1) Source: Department of Energy's "2018 Distributed Wind Market Report".To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg) -- SAP SE is sticking to its new plan of keeping the company youthful, and top management isn’t being spared.The storied German software giant, Europe’s biggest tech company by market value, has spent the past few years attempting to reinvent itself. It’s working to adapt its corporate software, used by almost all of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, to the web and is taking on younger rivals in cloud-based computing.There’s also been an exodus of company veterans, which as of 12:44 a.m. Friday in Walldorf, included CEO Bill McDermott.Analysts have called the late-night news a surprise; McDermott’s contract doesn’t run out until 2021. He also unveiled a major restructuring plan in April and was expected to brief investors on the company’s strategy next month.But, as he said on a conference call after the announcement, “Ten years is a long time to be CEO.”McDermott, 58, had been with the company since 2002 when he joined as head of its North American business. At the time, he was that unit’s fourth head in three years as SAP struggled to compete with rivals like Oracle Corp., and grappled with a drop in sales of software licenses. Problems with its products were blamed for delayed shipments of Whirlpool Corp.’s appliances and even Hershey’s Halloween chocolates.In the role, he recruited a new management team, changed the way the sales department targeted customers, and ultimately boosted sales growth. When CEO Leo Apotheker unexpectedly resigned in 2010, McDermott and product-development head Jim Snabe were picked to replace him as co-CEOs. Snabe -- currently chairman of Siemens AG -- stepped down and took a spot on the board in 2014, and McDermott became sole head of the company.With nearly 100,000 employees and a sprawling business that generated about $27 billion in revenue last year, driving change has sometimes been controversial. Since 2011, McDermott spent $26 billion on six major cloud acquisitions, and was the main advocate for the $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics International Inc., the company’s largest-ever deal.Analysts criticized the purchase as too expensive. In November, Qualtrics said it expected revenue for 2018 to exceed $400 million, a figure that wouldn’t move the needle much for SAP. McDermott defended the deal, believing that combining SAP’s sales force and a trove of operational data with Qualtrics’s customer experience feedback would accelerate growth.More recently, the company attracted the interest of activists at Elliott Management Corp., which revealed its 1.2 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) stake when SAP announced a change in strategy in April. SAP had been vague at the time, saying it planned “new initiatives to accelerate operational excellence and value creation” with a focus on “tuck-in” acquisitions.SAP underwent a management shakeup in the weeks preceding the April announcement. The president of its cloud business, 27-year SAP veteran Robert Enslin, had announced his departure earlier that month. It was later revealed he’d left for Google. A day earlier, Chief Technology Officer Bjoern Goerke, another cloud expert based in the U.S., penned a blog post saying he was leaving the company he joined as a student in 1988. Board member Bernd Leukert, a seasoned IT executive, left SAP in February.Personally, McDermott also had to weather a near-fatal accident in 2015 that cost him an eye when he fell down some stairs while carrying a water glass and nearly bled to death.His replacements are a mix of old and new guard at SAP. Christian Klein, 39, spent the past 20 years at SAP, after joining as a student in 1999. Jennifer Morgan, 48, arrived in 2004 and was the first American woman on the company’s executive board. Morgan has been seen as McDermott’s protege, rising relatively quickly through the ranks, and most recently served as the president of the all-important cloud group.Together, Klein and Morgan will have to find a way to compete with younger companies like Salesforce.com Inc. and Workday Inc. while encumbered by a traditional enterprise software business.Cloud is the company’s clear growth engine, with revenue increasing about 32% last year to about 5 billion euros. Sales from its largest business, which helps clients set up and implement SAP’s software, grew less than 1% in 2019.McDermott’s resignation was announced alongside better-than-expected preliminary third-quarter earnings results. New bookings for the company’s cloud products, a key metric that indicates future sales, grew 33% on a constant-currency business. That was more than double the pace set in the second quarter, when disappointed investors sent shares down as much as 10%.“While it is a shock to see Mr. McDermott stepping down, he is clearly handing over the reins of the business from a position of strength and we are encouraged to see that his replacements are long-term members of the SAP executive team,” said Thomas Fitzgerald, fund manager at SAP shareholder Edentree Investment Management, in a note on Friday.\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: Amy Thomson in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Kit Rees in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
In an "unprecedented" step, the government plans to order a company to recall hundreds of thousands of tumble dryers over fears they pose a fire safety risk. The announcement was made by business minister Kelly Tolhurst, four years after a reported design flaw was first identified in Whirlpool-produced machines that allowed fluff from clothing to reach heating elements. Whirlpool, whose brands include Indesit and Hotpoint, was ordered to fix the problem free of charge but the company has been repeatedly accused of dragging its feet.
The Italian government will move on Tuesday to scrap incentives for U.S.-listed appliance maker Whirlpool Corp following the company's decision to close its factory in Naples, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said. "Whirlpool has not been faithful to the agreements ... and says it wants to close the Naples plant, so today I will sign a ministerial directive that revokes all the incentives, which are about 15 million euros ($17 million). Whirlpool said in a statement in response that it didn't intend to close the Naples site "but is committed to finding a solution that guarantees industrial continuity and the highest occupational levels" at the factory.