Energy Conversion Devices has acquired a key downstream customer, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing systems specialist Solar Integrated Technologies (SIT) for approximately US$16.3 million, in an all-cash transaction. SIT has been loss-making due to the collapse in the building trade in the U.S. and weak demand in Europe, its main market. The company was seeking alternative business strategies and marked as a ‘going concern.’ SIT had posted revenue of US$95.3 million in 2009.
“The acquisition of SIT enhances our BIPV value proposition by significantly improving our field engineering and technical capabilities in rooftop solar to better support our channel partners in Europe and the U.S,” commented Mark Morelli, ECD’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our combined organization will also be well positioned to meaningfully participate in the expected growth in the U.S. market, including under the stimulus plan. We are extremely pleased to welcome SIT’s talented organization to our team.”
However, the acquisition raises issues over ECD’s sales channels as the company could be perceived to now be competing directly with its other customers. SIT also is understood to have had high inventory levels of ECD’s Unisolar PV laminates.