Pioneer Power To Enter Wind Turbine Market

MONTREAL (CP) -- Most of the assets of AAER Inc., a Quebec-based company that once aspired to establish itself as a wind turbine manufacturer but ended up in bankruptcy court, are being sold to Pioneer Power Solutions Inc. for $450,000.

Pioneer will acquire most of AAER's inventory, capital assets, intangible assets and intellectual property the U.S.-based company announced Thursday from its headquarters in Fort Lee, N.J.

The deal is expected to close June 7.

Pioneer is a manufacturer of transformers sold to the electric utility, industrial and commercial markets in Canada and the United States.

AAER will be renamed Pioneer Wind Energy Systems Inc. and form the basis of the U.S. company's move into the wind turbine sector.

The company expects to focus on orders of one to five turbines for smaller wind projects. It hopes to deliver between 50 and 100 turbines annually within three years.

"Offering these alternative energy systems is a natural extension of our business as we become a leading provider of diverse power systems in North America," Pioneer chairman and CEO Nathan Mazurek said in a statement.

Pioneer said it will leverage sales efforts with Jefferson Electric, which it recently acquired.

Based in Bromont, Que., AAER obtained court protection from creditors in early April.

It had attempted to preserve cash by laying off 28 employees in March, its second round of job cuts in five months.

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