SunPower To Bifurcate Into Two Public Companies

SunPower To Spin Off Shares In Manufacturing Business To Create New Company Called Maxeon Solar In Which Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Will Own Over 28% Stake With $298 Million Investment
09:52 AM (Beijing Time) - 12. November 2019
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An announcement regarding SunPower’s NGT technology funding partner was expected in Q4/2019 which the management has finally revealed as to come from its Chinese partner TZS. The management has also decided to break up the company with completion of the same expected in Q2/2020. (Photo Credit: SunPower Corporation)

Key Takeaways

  • In a strategic development, SunPower has announced dividing the company into two separate entities
  • Focused on North American distributed generation, storage and energy services, SunPower will continue to be led by Tom Werner
  • The new entity Maxeon Solar will be incorporated and headquartered in Singapore with responsibility of company’s production facilities in France, Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines
  • To be headed by Jeff Waters, Maxeon Solar has secured an investment of $298 million from TZS which will entitled the Chinese company to acquire more than 28% stake in the production firm
  • The new company will be created as a spin off of SunPower’s shares in Maxeon Solar to the former’s shareholders

America’s SunPower Corporation has announced a new strategic move dividing itself into two separate companies that will be ‘independent, complementary, strategically-aligned and publicly-traded companies’.

While one of these will continue to be called SunPower and will look after distributed generation, storage and energy services for North American market, the other will be called Maxeon Solar Technologies to manufacture and market premium solar panels.

Maxeon Solar

Incorporated in Singapore with its headquarters in the Asian country, Maxeon Solar will own and operate the group’s solar cell and panel manufacturing facilities in France, Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines. Under the current CEO of SunPower Technologies, Jeff Waters who will be Maxeon Solar’s CEO, the company will be traded on NASDAQ with its research and development (R&D), marketing and sales footprint outside of the US and Canada.

Investment from TZS

The company’s long time partner and silicon wafer supplier Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (TZS) has been identified as the funding partner for its next generation technology (NGT) with the Chinese company making an equity investment of $298 million in Maxeon Solar. It will help finance the scale up of the Maxeon 5 production capacity, said the management (see Production Expansion On SunPower’s Mind In 2019).

Having selected Tianjin as the investment partner after ‘three-year independent search’, Waters said the proceeds will enable the continued scale-up of Maxeon 5 production capacity at its manufacturing facility in Malaysia.

SunPower

The Hillsboro Oregon, US fab where SunPower operates its Performance Series modules assembling, will continue to be operated by SunPower which will retain its corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley California under CEO & Chairman of the Board, Tom Werner.

Maxeon Solar will however maintain 20% of the Performance Series manufacturing joint venture Huansheng Photovoltaic (Jiangsu) Company, Ltd.).

At the time of separation of the company, SunPower and Maxeon Solar will enter into a multi-year exclusive supply agreement covering sales within the US and Canada of products the latter will manufacture. They will continue to collaborate too as SunPower will lead early stage research and Maxeon Solar will focus on deployment-focused innovation and scale-up.

The separation as well as TZS’s investment in Maxeon Solar is expected to be achieved by Q2/2020.

“The separation is expected to occur through a spin‐off of all of the shares of Maxeon Solar held by SunPower to SunPower shareholders, followed by the TZS investment,” explained the management. “After the completion of the transactions, TZS will own approximately 28.848% of the diluted ordinary shares of Maxeon Solar with approximately 71.152% will be owned by SunPower shareholders, as of the record date of the spin-off.”

SunPower’s major stakeholder Total of France said it intends to remain shareholder for both the entities, but did not mention exact shares.

The announcement by SunPower comes as it reported record residential and new home booking in the third quarter 2019 (see SunPower: Record Residential Bookings In Q3/2019).

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani