In an effort to expand its footprint in the crystalline silicon solar cell arena, Roth & Rau has acquired Dutch firm OTB Solar, a subsidiary of OTB Group for €35.5 million. According to Roth & Rau, the acquisition will lead to an expansion of OTB’s product offerings as the company has some new, highly competitive technologies that it expects to be able to develop further and expand into new markets. Roth & Rau also noted that in the future only a small number of equipment suppliers will have the expertise and product portfolio to meet the needs of large, global PV manufacturers.
“OTB’s products optimally supplement our technology portfolio and will significantly contribute towards boosting our turnkey business,” commented Dr. Dietmar Roth, CEO of Roth & Rau AG. “We also expect to generate synergies by integrating OTB’s product development capacities and its project management team, with its successful track record on the market.”
“Like cell and module manufacturers, equipment suppliers are also undergoing a far-reaching process of consolidation,” added company CFO Carsten Bovenschen. “At the end of the day, there will only be a small number of providers with high process expertise, a global presence and the critical mass to negotiate with customers on equal terms. We see the takeover of OTB as a further consistent step within our growth strategy”.
OTB has recently developed antireflective coating systems and turnkey production lines for use in the manufacture of crystalline silicon solar cells. It also has a core competency in PECVD coating processes and industrial ink-jet printing applications, which could become widely used for high-efficiency solar cells.
Roth & Rau said that it would issue new shares of €30.0 million and remaining amount in cash to fund the acquisition. The company expects to generate cost savings from certain synergy effects and expects positive earnings contributions from OTB from the 2011 financial year onwards.