Aug 12, 2013 - German conglomerate Siemens (ETR:SIE) is in advanced talks with Spanish engineering group Abengoa (MCE:ABG) on the sale of its Israeli factory for solar thermal equipment, following the company's decision last year to exit the solar market, Israeli business daily Globes said yesterday citing an insider.
According to an unnamed executive involved in the talks, the negotiations between Siemens and Abengoa are likely to result in a deal.
The company has been looking for a buyer of its loss-making concentrating solar power (CSP) components factory in Beit Shemesh since October 2012, when it decided to exit the solar business. The factory is run by Siemens Concentrated Solar Power, former Solel Solar Systems, which Siemens acquired in 2009 from founder Avi Brenmiller for USD 418 million (EUR 314m). The business, however, did not meet Siemens expectations of strengthening its foothold in the solar market.
Abengoa was one of the first candidates to take over the company but it withdrew its offer because of uncertainties about the industry's future, Globes said at the time. Avi Brenmiller also had aspirations to repurchase its business but reportedly did not make an offer. Failing to find a buyer the company decided to shut down the plant in June which led to 150 lay-offs out of its 200 workforce. The remaining 50 were retained to provide technical support for ongoing projects in Spain.
The sale of the Israeli solar division is part of the ongoing restructuring plan in Siemens, that began in October 2012. The company decided to exit the solar sector due to strong price pressures and focus on its other renewable energy businesses such as wind and hydro power.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.75)
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