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Suzlon CFO Quits, Following Vestas Top Staff, as Losses Expand

Suzlon Energy Ltd.’s chief financial officer quit as widening losses at India’s biggest wind-turbine maker jeopardize its ability to meet debt repayments this year.

Robin Banerjee, appointed CFO in March 2009, left to take up an undisclosed position and Head of Corporate Finance Kirti Vagadia will assume his responsibilities, Suzlon said today in an e-mailed statement. The shares fell to a one-month low.

Suzlon joins Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s largest turbine maker, in losing top managers as increased competition from Chinese rivals squeezes profits and dwindling clean-energy subsidies threaten demand. Vestas CFO Henrik Norremark resigned last month after the Danish company reported a loss four times wider than analyst estimates.

Losses at Suzlon grew to 2.86 billion rupees ($60 million) in the three months through December, the most in five quarters. That prompted the company’s auditors to examine its ability to raise funds as it seeks to meet debt repayments this year.

Suzlon’s repayments may fall short by as much as $592 million out of $700 million in debt due in 12 months, Charanjit Singh, a Bangalore-based analyst at HSBC Bank Plc, said this week. The company may face $389 million in bond redemptions this year if investors holding convertible notes choose not to swap them for shares.

Suzlon fell as much as 4.6 percent to 24.9 rupees in Mumbai trading, the lowest intraday price since Feb. 28. The stock was at 25.25 rupees as of 1:30 p.m. local time. The BSE Sensitive Index rose 1.7 percent.

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