The acquisition by Amtech Systems of BTU International was pre-planned to be completed and the company assimilated into Amtech ahead of the next capacity expansion phase by major PV manufacturers, according to Paul van der Wansem, chairman and CEO of BTU International.
Van der Wansem commented on the timing of the acquisition in answering an analyst question during the company’s third quarter earnings conference call: “We’ve given the due consideration as to why now, we believe strongly that when we all get busy the time to integrate two companies is now before we see the upturn. You can argue that both company stock prices are not as we had hoped to be but on the other end we have to take the opportunity to combine basically two strong companies and get the expenses out, to get the savings and combine as much as we can and make ourselves stronger and therefore be able to tackle the upturn in what we expect to be a real good upturn in the solar industry within not so long in the future and do that now and get through it and come out as a stronger company.”
The Amtech acquisition is being touted as a way for BTU to gain better exposure to the PV market than it had achieved in the past with the opportunity to be better represented in markets such as China and Asia Pacific as well as the US, which is having a recent renaissance in c-Si manufacturing plans, especially for N-type monocrystalline solar cell technology.
BTU reported third quarter net sales of US$15.9 million, down 3% compared to the US$16.4 million in the prior quarter and a net loss for the first nine months of 2014 of US$1.2 million. The company had US$10.4 million in cash at the end of the quarter and before the announcement of Amtech’s acquisition of the company.