Wednesday, July 06, 2005

China Dreams Cracked---Again

Alliant Energy Corp. said Tuesday that its board has approved the sale of its investments in China and said it will take a non-cash asset valuation charge of up to $95 million in the second quarter. The energy company also said its Iowa utility agreed to sell its interest in a nuclear power plant for $387 million.

Madison-based Alliant said fair market value of the assets in China have deteriorated significantly in recent months as a result of an updated analysis of the portfolio, and updated market information, including terms of recent sales of similar assets. The company also said asset value declined due to lower forecasts for tariff relief for past and future increases in coal and transportation costs, and other uncertainties.

Alliant Energy owns interests in various generating facilities in China that are regulated at various local and national levels by the Chinese government.

The energy company said that the carrying value of the investments was estimated at $190 million as of March 31, 2005. Alliant expects that a pre-tax, non-cash asset valuation charge of up to one half of the carrying value will be incurred in the second quarter of 2005.

Well, they've joined an impressive list of US organizations which have been, ah, made unhappy by experiences in China. Briggs & Stratton found that the Chinese are very good, indeed, at reverse-engineering. So did Chrysler, and GM.

Too bad.

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