Ayala buys controlling stake in flexible module firm Merlin Solar

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Merlin Solar modules on a boat. Credit: Youtube - Installing Solbian flexible solar panels - Sailing Nandji, Ep 32

Ayala Corporation, part of Filipino conglomerate Ayala Group, has acquired a controlling stake in Silicon Valley-based firm Merlin Solar Technologies, which produces flexible, mobile and wearable crystalline silicon solar modules.

ACI Solar Holdings, a subsidiary of AC Industrial Technology Holdings, which is itself a wholly-owed subsidiary of Ayala Corp, carried out the transaction for a 78.2% stake, having originally made a minority investment in Merlin Solar back in 2016.

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Merlin Solar claims that its products are suited to installation on metal roofs, auxiliary power for transportation and military applications among others. The firm is also partnered with QFlex-Ayala from the Philippines and Waaree Energies an India-based manufacturer.

Merlin has manufacturing facilities in Thailand, but intends to start manufacturing within the Philippines in partnership with Integrated Microelectronics, another ACI subsidiary.

For its part, Ayala’s strategy is to invest in what it calls disruptive technologies, having already built up a portfolio of innovative technologies in electronics manufacturing, vehicle assembly and vehicle retail.

Ayala Corporation and AC Industrials chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said: “Merlin is highly complementary to various Ayala businesses, such as the renewable energy generation under AC Energy. We strongly believe that Merlin’s solar technology has the potential to profoundly impact people’s lives in the coming years.”

AC Industrials CEO Arthur Tan said: “The acquisition of Merlin forms part of AC Industrials’ strategy to own, develop, and commercialize disruptive technologies in rapidly-transforming industries. Merlin’s patent and IP portfolio allows a differentiated value proposition in solar which, when combined with AC Industrials’ core strength of providing manufacturing scale through IMI’s global platform, will provide AC Industrials with the opportunity to disrupt the solar energy industry.”

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