| HONG KONG, July 25
HONG KONG, July 25 China's Hanergy Holding Group
Ltd said it had acquired U.S. firm Global Solar Energy Inc, its
third overseas purchase of a solar company in the past year as
it beefs up its solar panel production technology.
The deal follows its purchases last year of Silicon Valley
start-up MiaSole and of Solibro, a unit of insolvent German
solar group Q-Cells, and will allow Hanergy to
"accelerate the development and large-scale application" of
thin-film modules, Hanergy Chairman Li Hejun said in a statement
Global Solar, based in Tucson, Arizona, specialises in
making solar cells with copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS)
technology. The thin-film products, which are lighter than
traditional crystalline silicon modules, are applied in
integrated and rooftop solar projects, electronic vehicles and
portable solar products.
"Global Solar has run into some financial difficulties, and
Hanergy bought it for its technology at a reasonable price," a
source with knowledge of the matter said. The person declined to
be identified because he was not authorised to comment to the
media on the financial health of the target.
Li said Global Solar would continue operations in the United
China has become the world's largest solar panel maker and
the dominant supplier to solar power industry. Hanergy, a
private renewable energy producer, controls Hong Kong-listed
Hanergy Solar and employs more than 8,000 people.
The competition from Chinese firms has forced some European
and U.S. solar panel makers to go bust in the past few years.
The Global Solar deal is the latest rescue of a U.S. solar
startup by a larger Asian industrial manufacturer. HelioVolt and
Ascent Solar Technologies Inc have sold stakes to South
Korean conglomerate SK Group and China's TFG Radiant Group,
MiaSole, which raised hundreds of millions of dollars as one
of Silicon Valley's hottest cleantech startups, was sold to
Hanergy for $30 million, a source familiar with the matter said
in October 2012.
Both the United States and European Union accuse Chinese
panel makers of receiving state subsidies and dumping their
panels below costs, posing unfair competition.
Washington last year imposed anti-dumping duties on solar
cells imported from China. The European Commission is taking
similar action and will decide on Aug. 6 on whether to slap
punitive tariffs on Chinese solar panels.
China announced this month that it aims to more than
quadruple solar power generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by
2015 in an apparent bid to ease a massive glut in the domestic
solar panel industry caused by a collapse in overseas demand.
Beijing also said it would promote the development of
high-efficiency thin-film solar panels.
Such panels, analysts say, are less efficient in converting
sunlight into power but are lighter and potentially cheaper than
crystalline silicon modules, the core products of most Chinese
solar panel makers such as LDK and Yingli.
Hanergy said it completed the acquisition of Global Solar
after winning approvals from the Committee on Foreign Investment
in the United States and China's National Development and Reform