Advanced Energy buys solar inverter company PV Powered in cash-and-stock deal

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In another example of consolidation within the solar industry, Advanced Energy Industries has signed a definitive agreement to buy PV Powered, a manufacturer of grid-tied photovoltaic inverters in the residential, commercial, and utility-scale markets.

Under the terms of the deal, AE will acquire PV Powered for a purchase price of up to $90 million, consisting of $50 million to be paid at closing in the form of $35 million in cash and $15 million in AE’s common stock, as well as up to $40 million in a potential earn-out based on PV Powered’s full-year 2010 financial results.

PV Powered will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary throughout 2010, continuing to sell and support its branded inverters.

AE says it anticipates that sales of PV Powered’s inverter will contribute as much as $40 million to $50 million to the parent company’s 2010 revenues. Of that, it expects $30 million-$35 million to come from sales to the commercial market and $10 million-$15 million from the residential market.

AE CEO Hans Betz said he believes “the combination of Advanced Energy and PV Powered will continue our strong momentum in the inverter market, propelling us forward as a leading manufacturer of solar inverters in North America. The addition of PV Powered’s transformer-based inverters with power levels below 500KW for the small to midrange commercial inverter market allows Advanced Energy to target a portion of the market that we have not yet addressed.”

“As a combined company, our comprehensive portfolio of both transformerless and transformer-based inverter products will serve the entire spectrum of commercial project sizes from 30KW to multimegawatt utility installations, placing us firmly at the heart of the emerging and fast-growing solar inverter market,” he added.

Founded in 2003, privately held PV Powered has about 90 employees and earned $21 million of revenues in 2009. The Bend, OR-based company’s inverters range in size from 30 to 260KW for the commercial market and 1 to 5KW for the residential market, with market-leading efficiency ratings.

PV Powered says that its engineering team has continuously optimized the performance and reliability of its inverters, allowing the company to offer what it calls the first standard 10-year product warranty and optional 20-year extended warranty.

“PV Powered and Advanced Energy have a collective history of industry innovation, driven by a commitment to power conversion efficiency and inverter reliability that leads the market,” said PV Powered CEO Gregg Patterson. “Both organizations share a common mission to deliver the lowest levelized cost of energy and the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Together, we can offer the broadest technology and product portfolio in the industry.”

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