Investors in PV module manufacturer, REC Solar have given the green light to the acquisition of the company by Chinese firm, China National Bluestar, a joint venture firm between the conglomerate ChemChina and Blackstone.
REC Solar will merged into another Norwegian firm, previously acquired by Bluestar, Elkem Group with the transaction expected to be completed in early March, 2015.
Martin Cooper, CEO of REC, states: “We are pleased that the shareholders have voted in favour of this transaction, in accordance with the previous recommendation by the board of directors. We believe that a combination with the Elkem Group will provide a strong platform to further develop REC, with added strengths and new opportunities.”
“The Elkem Group and REC have developed a strong business relationship and there is a good strategic match between the companies, as both have a Norwegian corporate culture and heritage,” added Helge Aasen, CEO of Elkem AS. 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.”
In the decision by management to sell REC Solar to Bluestar, key emphasis was placed on the company requiring significantly greater capital resources to keep competing with tier one Chinese PV producers that had continues to expand capacity and grow market share.
A key development to watch going forward will be the strategies employed by Elkem to become competitive against its Chinese rivals. With REC Solar's cell and module production based in Singapore the company's products are excluded from anti-dumping duties in the US and EU. The company has secured major module supply deals with the likes of SolarCity, the largest PV installer in the US and is operating its 1GW plus fab at full-capacity.