Centrotherm photovoltaics said it is buying Michael Glatt Maschinenbau, a 74-year-old Bavarian manufacturer of industrial pressure containers and apparatus, from previous owner Büechl Handels-und Beteiligungs for a purchase price said to be in the single-digit millions of euro.
Glatt’s particular strength lies in its many years of experience in building chlorosilane containers and in welding technology, according to centrotherm. These containers are capable of withstanding particular stresses, such as extremely high or low pressures and temperatures, and thus can also be used to produce solar silicon.
Glatt, which generated sales of about €13 million last year, is based in Abensburg and employs about 80 workers.
Centrotherm said that its acquisition of Glatt is part of its strategy of growing along the value-creation chain, expanding capacities, and continuously optimizing production standards through the use of new technologies.
“The integration of Michael Glatt Maschinenbau allows us to supplement our range of services in the solar silicon area to include specialty technology for pressure-container building for reactors, converters, and other key components for silicon manufacturing,” noted Albrecht Mozer, CEO/CTO of centrotherm SiTec. “We are also securing production capacities and know-how for technical developments in this area.”
The company said it plans to use the new production capacities to increasingly implement new reactor and converter developments in-house in the future, and to produce additional parts of silicon equipment at Glatt’s Abensberg location.
The Glatt acquisition is the latest in a series of M&A moves by centrotherm photovoltaics over the past year. In addition to opening subsidiaries in Taiwan, Italy, and the U.S., the company bought sputter tool company FHR in November 2007, quality and process control firm GP Solar in April 2008, and silicon materials specialist SolMic in August 2008, as well as merging sister company centrotherm thermal into the PV corporation in October.