State-owned chemical firm, China National Bluestar, has bought tier-one module manufacturer REC Solar ASA for NOK4.34 billion (US$639 million).
REC Solar ASA will be merged with Elkem, the polysilicon producer separately acquired by Bluestar in 2011, with the aim of creating a heavyweight integrated PV manufacturer.
REC Solar chairman, Ole Enger, said: “We are pleased that we today are in position to announce the combination of the Elkem Group and REC Solar. The board believes that a combination with the Elkem Group will provide a strong platform to further develop REC Solar.”
The deal comes only a year after REC divided its polysilicon and module manufacturing operations, creating REC Solar and relocating its headquarters to Singapore.
It is likely to put REC Solar on a stronger footing. Although the firm said it in recent third-quarter results that it was expecting to sell its full production capacity this year, and is planning to expand capacity next year, it has been struggling against cheaper competition from China and recent results have revealed mixed fortunes for the company.
Helge Aasen, CEO of Elkem, said: “The Elkem Group has a strategic goal to grow its presence in the solar industry. The ambition is to establish a leading integrated PV player.
“The Elkem Group and REC Solar have developed a strong business relationship and there is a good strategic match between the companies ensuring that a combined entity will have a strong basis for further development of the business by leveraging REC Solar's leading global brand, strong distribution channels and reputation for quality.”