Hanwha to create 3GW cell giant with Q CELLS and SolarOne merger

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The merger of Hanwha SolarOne and Hanwha Q CELLS is set to proceed in a deal estimated to cost Hanwha SolarOne around US$1.2 billion in an all-stock transaction.

The merger of Hanwha Q CELLS and Hanwha SolarOne has been expected for some time since Hanwha Chemical and Hanwha Group, both interrelated Korean companies, separately acquired then bankrupt Q-Cells and struggling Chinese module manufacturer, Solarfun.

The deal struck will see Hanwha SolarOne acquire 100% of the outstanding share capital of Q CELLS from its sole shareholder, Hanwha Solar Holdings (HSH), in an all-stock transaction with an implied enterprise value of the combined entities of approximately US$2.0 billion.

Hanwha claimed the combined entity would become the world's largest manufacturer of solar cells with a capacity of 3.28GW. According to NPD Solarbuzz data before the IHS acquisition, Yingli Green had become the largest solar cell producer in 2013 for the first time with production in excess of 2GW.

The second ranked solar cell producer, JA Solar has already announced plans to expand solar cell production to 2.8GW in 2015.

Seongwoo Nam, chief executive of SolarOne, said: “The combination of SolarOne and Q CELLS creates a formidable global leader that is well positioned for long-term growth. Q CELLS brings industry-leading technology and R&D that can be leveraged across the combined product portfolio, and downstream expertise in development, EPC and project financing. At the same time, we plan to leverage SolarOne's cost-efficient module manufacturing base together with Q CELLS' industry-leading highly efficient and fully automated cell manufacturing knowhow to further improve the combined company's cost competitiveness. Our combined scale and optimised global footprint will strengthen our strategic and financial position and should enable us to accelerate growth in the most important solar markets and increase shareholder value.”

Charles Kim, chief executive of Q CELLS, said: “Q CELLS' commitment to quality, technology, and innovation has enabled us to become one of the most respected solar companies with a world-renowned product reputation and downstream expertise. The merger with SolarOne creates a truly global platform that will provide us with a platform to achieve greater economies of scale and facilitate expansion into important solar markets including China. Together with SolarOne, we look forward to delivering superior solar solutions to our customers and growing our global leadership position.”

Hanhwa said the merged companies would be led by Seongwoo Nam of Hanwha SolarOne as chairman and chief executive, Kim will serve as chief commercial officer, Jinseog Choi will serve as chief technology officer and Jay Seo will become chief financial officer.

Executive headquarters will be located in Seoul, Korea, and its technology and innovation headquarters in Thalheim, Germany, home to Q CELLS.

Manufacturing combination

SolarOne noted that its solar cell and PV module production capacity was 1.75GW and 2.07GW, respectively, while Q CELLS' solar cell and PV module manufacturing capacity are 1.53GW and 130MW respectively, with plans to expand capacity further in 2015 of 800MW of modules.

Combined, PV module capacity, including SolarOne's recently announced South Korean module assembly plant, would take nameplate capacity to around 3.18GW.

As a result SolarOne would regain a top-5 manufacturing ranking, although other rivals have yet to announce expansion plans for 2015.

Management said in a conference call, though did not take questions that the merger was a long-time in the making but was required to compete with larger rivals. The merger would also provide ‘significant cost synergies in supply chain and corporate operations, as well as efficiencies in capital expenditure spending.’ 

The merger would also lead to improved margins and ASPs, according to management in the call. 

Not surprisingly, the issue of trade barriers via anti-dumping duties on China based SolarOne was highlighted. SolarOne’s recently announced module assembly plant in South Korea was required to restore module shipments lost since the latest US preliminary ruling. 

Q CELLS operations in Germany and Malaysia are not subject to any anti-dumping ruling. 

Downstream ambitions 

According to the statement, the combined company is planning to expand its downstream ambitions, an area SolarOne has been trailing rivals. Combining Q CELLS long-standing downstream expertise, SolarOne said it would have a PV project pipeline of 2.17GW, which included 30% of Hanwha-affiliated companies projects that were said be ‘late stage’ developments. 

Q CELLS, which has been private since its acquisition was said to have generated approximately US$416.1 million in revenue based on unaudited IFRS financial information for the six months ended June 30, 2014.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

26 January 2022
Join this free webinar for our analysis of the growth of N-Type technology including; new capacity expansions and production output. We'll also be looking at the global manufacturing footprint with forecasts on how much product will be made outside of China this year and which companies are driving technology change across the crystalline silicon value chain.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.

Read Next

January 18, 2022
Hive Hydrogen and Linde plc have teamed up to establish the “world’s largest green ammonia export plant” in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa that will have a 780,000 ton/year production capacity.
January 18, 2022
Corporate funding in the global solar sector reached a ten-year high in 2021 as the industry recovered from a COVID-affected 2020, new research from Mercom Capital Group reveals.
January 17, 2022
A round-up of the latest projects news, including EDP Renewables completing Indiana’s largest PV project, two Gulf utility companies pricing their first green bonds and an Australian utility linking its project to the national grid.
January 17, 2022
US independent power producer DESRI is planning to raise up to US$100 million in an initial public offering (IPO) that will see the company listed on the Nasdaq.
January 17, 2022
Solar module manufacturer Seraphim has launched its new S5 series of high-efficiency PV modules with a maximum power output of up to 670W and an efficiency of 21.57%.
January 17, 2022
Oman has signed an agreement with energy major bp that will support the potential development of multiple gigawatts of renewables and green hydrogen in the Middle Eastern country by 2030.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal