There will soon be a new company claiming the title of largest solar cell manufacturer in the world, thanks to the recently announced upcoming merger of Hanwha SolarOne Co, Hanwha Solar Holdings Co, and Hanwha Q CELLS Investment into a single entity.
The merger will see the creation of a business with a total production capacity of about 3.28 GW, with said business spread across a number of different regions internationally, including some of the fastest-growing regions with regard to solar energy.
As per the terms of the merger, SolarOne is acquiring all of the outstanding share-capital of Q CELLS from the sole shareholder (HSH), via an all-stock transaction, “with an implied enterprise value of the combined company at approximately $2.0 billion based on the closing price of SolarOne’s American depositary shares (each of which represents five ordinary shares of SolarOne) as quoted by NASDAQ on December 5, 2014 (the last trading day prior to this announcement).”
The deal was approved by the companies’ boards of directors and is currently expected to be completed during the beginning of 2015 following shareholder and regulatory approval.
The chief executive officer of SolarOne, Seongwoo Nam, commented on the deal: “The combination of SolarOne and Q CELLS creates a formidable global leader that is well positioned for long-term growth. Q CELLS brings industry-leading technology and R&D that can be leveraged across the combined product portfolio, and downstream expertise in development, EPC and project financing. At the same time, we plan to leverage SolarOne’s cost-efficient module manufacturing base together with Q CELLS’ industry-leading highly efficient and fully automated cell manufacturing knowhow to further improve the combined company’s cost competitiveness. Our combined scale and optimized global footprint will strengthen our strategic and financial position and should enable us to accelerate growth in the most important solar markets and increase shareholder value.”
As it stands now, SolarOne is one of the largest solar wafer, cell and module manufacturers in the world — employing more than 7,500 workers across China, Germany, and the US, and possessing a solar cell and module production capacity of 1.75 and 2.07 GW (respectively).
While Q CELLS is the biggest supplier of photovoltaic product solutions in Europe (as per global shipments in 2014 year-to-date) — employing around 1,800 workers in Germany and Malaysia, and possessing a solar cell and module manufacturing capacity of 1.53 GW and 130 MW (respectively).
SolarOne is receiving its financial advice from Credit Suisse, and its legal counsel from Debevoise & Plimpton. Q CELLS is receiving its financial advice from Citigroup, and its legal counsel from Paul Hastings. Houlihan Lokey is working as financial adviser, and O’Melveny & Myers LLP is serving as legal counsel, to the Special Committee of SolarOne.
Image Credit: Hanwha
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