SunPower Buying SolarWorld (Americas)

SunPower SolarWorld Americas acquisition

SunPower has announced it will be acquiring 100 percent of SolarWorld Americas. The purchase price was not disclosed and the deal is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

“The time is right for SunPower to invest in U.S. manufacturing, and SolarWorld Americas provides a great platform for us to implement our advanced P-Series solar panel manufacturing technology right here in our home market,” said SunPower CEO and board chairman, Tom Werner.

SunPower says it will invest in factory improvements and boost working capital, while retrofitting part of SolarWorld Americas’ manufacturing facility to produce P-Series solar panels.

Sunpower P-Series technology has been available in Australia since last year – SQ’s Ronald has written about it here.

SolarWorld Americas was cut loose from its German parent company and has been looking for a buyer for a while. CEO of SolarWorld Americas Jürgen Stein said the acquisition by SunPower was ideal for the company.

” Our hundreds of long-time employees are excited to be part of this next chapter in SolarWorld Americas’ long history,” said Mr. Stein. “We are thrilled about this acquisition as it means quite simply, that our company can look forward to redoubled strength as it continues to innovate and expand into the future.”

It’s an interesting twist. SolarWorld Americas was one of the companies involved with petitioning the U.S. Government for the introduction of punitive duties on imported solar panels and cells. The solar safeguard tariffs negatively impacted SunPower – while the company’s headquarters is in the USA, its manufacturing capacity is in Malaysia, the Philippines, Mexico and China.

Sunpower, one among a veritable who’s who list of solar panel manufacturers, sought an exclusion from the “Trump Solar Tariffs” in February.

What About The Other SolarWorld (The German One)?

In March we reported just months after Germany’s SolarWorld AG ran into major trouble and then was resurrected as SolarWorld Industries GmbH, the new company had filed for bankruptcy. More on the saga leading up to this point can be viewed here.

Just over a week ago, the company said it had resumed production of SolarWorld solar panels at both its German locations.

Dr. Christoph Niering, provisional insolvency administrator at SolarWorld Industries, said it was important to restart production and he was pleased by how many customers remained loyal to the company.

According to Dr. Niering, there have already been “a number” of potential investors sniffing around the company.

So, like the phoenix it has proven to be, it may arise from the ashes again – and a little faster than the mythological bird that only does so every 500 years (or 540, 1000 or 1460 years – depending on who you ask).

The SolarWorld Germany vs. USA situation could make for some interesting branding issues going forward.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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