SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR) on Wednesday unveiled an agreement to take over Oregon-based solar panels manufacturer SolarWorld Americas, with plans to invest in factory improvements.
The buy would mark SunPower’s return to US manufacturing and, according to the company, would make it the largest solar panel producer in the country. What makes the deal especially interesting is the fact that the buyer and target in this transaction have been somewhat on the opposite sides in the Section 201 trade case, under which President Donald Trump levied safeguard tariffs on solar imports.
The facility of the US company will now undergo some improvements and will benefit from increased working capital, SunPower said. It will continue to manufacture and ship SolarWorld Americas' legacy products, while a portion of the factory will be retrofitted to also produce SunPower’s Performance Series (P-Series) panels.
SolarWorld Americas was a unit of German major SolarWorld AG. After the latter went insolvent in 2017 the US company became a separate entity from SolarWorld Industries GmbH, which is currently insolvent too. The acquisition needs to get US and German regulatory approvals before being closed in the next several months.
"We are delighted that SunPower has agreed to inject fresh capital and their industry leading P-Series technology into SolarWorld Americas operations here in Hillsboro,” commented Juergen Stein, CEO of SolarWorld Americas.
SunPower is majority owned by French oil major Total SA (EPA:FP), which earlier in the day announced it had agreed to take control of Direct Energie SA (EPA:DIREN) for EUR 1.4 billion (USD 1.73bn).
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.239)
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