Sharp breaks solar M&A lull with EUR 305m buy of Recurrent Energy
(ADPnews) – Sep 22, 2010 - Japanese electronics heavyweight Sharp Corp (TYO:6753) will plunk up to USD 305 million (EUR 229m) into the acquisition of US solar power systems developer Recurrent Energy, a move that highlights its commitment to the flourishing market.
This is the latest major step in Sharp’s ambitious strategy to become a total solutions company in photovoltaics (PV) and follows the recent announcement of bold expansion plans in Europe. It is the first acquisition of the Japanese company’s solar energy business, and is aimed at gaining know-how.
Sharp pins its hopes on Recurrent to help it grow its foothold on the global PV landscape, executive vice president for overseas business Toshige Hamano said in a statement on Wednesday.
Privately-held Recurrent Energy, which is majority-owned by Hudson Clean Energy Partners, focuses on small-scale projects of up to 20 MW. It has a pipeline of more than 2 GW in the US, Canada and Europe.
After wrap-up of the deal by the end of the year, Recurrent will continue to operate as a Sharp subsidiary, without any management shakeups.
In end-July, Sharp uncorked plans to sink JPY 4 billion (USD 47m/EUR 35m) into doubling to 500 MW the annual production capacity of its UK-based crystalline solar modules factory.
The next major step in the company’s foray into the European solar market came just days later as Sharp joined forces with Enel Green Power, the renewable energy arm of Italian power group Enel (BIT:ENEL), and chip maker STMicroelectronics (BIT:STM), to build what they claim will be Italy’s biggest PV panel factory. The facility in Catania, on the east coast of Sicily, will make PV cells and panels with an initial capacity of 160 MW, rising to 480 MW over the coming years.
Sharp Corporation bakes crystalline and thin-film solar cells, and plans to become a total solutions company through covering every step of the value chain including production of materials, system integration and independent power production. The firm is also working on enhancing conversion efficiency, while lowering material costs and improving productivity.
Alongside in Japan and in the UK, it runs a production factory in Memphis, USA.