PV manufacturing equipment specialist Amtech Systems is selling the majority of its stake in subsidiary Kingstone Technology to China-based venture capital firm, Suzhou Zhuo Jing Investment Center for around US$13.6 million.
Amtech expects to receive approximately US$8 million for its shares and the repayment of a loan to Kingstone from Suzhou and a subsequent US$5.6 million for its exclusive sales and service rights for the ion implant tools by 31 March 2016.
Fokko Pentinga, chief executive of Amtech Systems said: “Successful development of our solar ion implant systems and related new customers during the solar market down cycle positioned us to enter into this transaction and monetise part of our ion implant research and development investment. We will continue to participate in the solar ion implant business with worldwide, non-exclusive, selling rights and minority ownership in the business.”
Subject to the conclusion of the deal, Amtech said it would hold a 15% stake in Kingstone. The company expects to use the proceeds on core activities.
Kingstone Hong Kong will own 68.75% of the capital stock of Shanghai Kingstone and Suzhou will own 31.25%.
Several companies, including Applied Materials, have been developing volume production ion implant technology for advanced solar cells. However traction has been slow due to the recent three-year slump in capital expenditures by PV manufacturers due to chronic overcapacity.
Lat year, Yingli Green touted it would adopt ion implant technology.