Originally a silicon/wafer manufacturer, Chinese vertically integrated PV company GCL-Poly has strengthened its upstream portfolio by buying the silicon/wafer assets of bankrupt US company SunEdison.
- GCL-Poly announced that it has entered into an agreement with SunEdison to buy its stake in the solar materials business
- The deal has been fixed for $150 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis
- It lists SunEdison, SunEdison Products Singapore, MEMC Pasadena, Solaicx and SMP as sellers
- GCL, the world’s largest silicon and wafer maker, will get access to SunEdison’s technology and production for low-cost FBR silicon and hight-tech mono wafering
Protected against its debtors under Chapter 11, US based renewable energy firm SunEdison has found a buyer that’s interested to acquire the former’s solar materials businesses. Hong Kong based polysilicon and wafer manufacturer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited announced on August 28, 2016 that it has offered to buy SunEdison’s assets for $150 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis.
With the acquisition, GCL, the world’s largest silicon and solar wafer manufacturer, will be able to enhance its R&D on electronic-grade granular polysilicon made with FBR technology, increase its production capacity of the same and improve pulling efficiency and quality of its single crystalline ingots production. At the same time, the board explained that GCL will be able to reduce the production costs of single crystalline ingots and electronic grade granular polysilicon as well as maintain the cost advantage and competitiveness by securing relevant patents in producing solar materials.
SunEdison has been a pioneer in producing polysilicon using low-cost FBR technology and has only recently started a new production facility in a joint-venture with Samsung in Korea. Its US subsidiary Solaicx owns a technology to produce ingots in a ‘continuous’ mode.
GCL has mentioned SunEdison, SunEdison Products Singapore, MEMC Pasadena, Solaicx and SMP as the sellers. SunEdison Products Singapore is into building and operating solar cell production facilities, while Delaware located MEMC Pasadena owns and operates a silicon manufacturing facility in Pasadena, Texas, which is currently non-operational. SunEdison subsidiary Solaicx in California manufactures and sells silicon ingots through its facility located in Portland, Oregon. Korea based SMP produces polysilicon for solar cells and other applications. SMP is also undergoing bankruptcy rehabilitation proceedings in Korea.
GCL-Poly Chairman Zhu Gongshan explained that the deal needs to be approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court first.
SunEdison had filed for bankruptcy in April 2016 after its acquisition deal with
Vivint Solar failed to materialise, leading to huge debts for the company (see SunEdison & Its Yieldcos). Post that the company has been looking for buyers but no one seems interested in buying the whole company with its looming debt. Buyers, like GCL-Poly, seem more interested in taking chunks of what was once a giant in the global renewable energy space.