By Boston Business Journal

The blows keep landing on Devens-based AMSC (Nasdaq: AMSC), the latest being that the company has called off its planned $265 million purchase of Finnish company The Switch Engineering Oy, saying it couldnâ¿¿t raise the money in this tough economy.

AMSC (Nasdaq: AMSC), which was known as American Superconductor Corp. until mid-October, cited in a release ⿿adverse market conditions for a financing required to fund the acquisition⿝ for pulling the plug on the acquisition, which was announced back in March. As part of the deal, The Switch gets to keep the $20.6 million AMSC paid up front as a ⿿break-up fee.⿝

The terms which allowed The Switch to keep the $20.6 million came as part of a modification of the original agreement, when in July AMSC asked for more time to raise the money needed to fund the acquisition. That amendment gave AMSC an extension until Sept. 30 to find financing for the deal. The amended agreement included an option for two additional 30-day extensions.

Within weeks of announcing plans to buy The Switch, AMSCâ¿¿s largest customer, Chinese wind power firm Sinovel Wind Group Co., refused to accept shipments of wind turbine components. That ultimately led to charges of corporate espionage against Sinovel buy a former employee of AMSCâ¿¿s Austrian subsidiary Windtec. In late September, Dejan Karabasevic, 38, pled guilty to charges of passing AMSC secrets to the Chinese company, and was sentenced to one year in jail and two years probation. He was also ordered to pay approximately $270,000 in damages to AMSC.

In September, AMSC filed both criminal charges and civil complaints against Sinovel based on the spying case, seeking unspecified monetary damages and for Sinovel to cease infringing on its intellectual property. One month later Sinovel filed a counter claim charging breach of contract against AMSC with the Beijing Arbitration Commission, which is where AMSC filed its civil claim.

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