U.S.-based SunPower Corp. is purchasing Taiwan-based AUO’s portion of the two companies’ joint venture, which they established in 2010 and manufactures solar cells at an 800 MW factory in Melaka, Malaysia.
Under the stock purchase agreement, SunPower will pay AUO $170 million over the next four years. SunPower has also signed a supply agreement with AUO for 100 MW of SunPower’s E-series solar panels, and AUO will remain a wafer supplier to SunPower. In an announcement, SunPower says the transaction resolves a dispute between the two companies, but it does not offer more details.
“The solar industry expects continued growth for the foreseeable future, as solar power becomes increasingly cost-effective in many countries,” said Tom Werner, SunPower President and CEO. “Acquiring AUO’s stake in the Malaysian joint venture gives us sole control over our highest-performing solar cell fab and will allow for technology upgrades and further expansion of our high-efficiency solar cell technology as market conditions warrant.”
SunPower says it plans to eventually upgrade the Melaka facility, as the plant includes infrastructure built to allow for significant future capacity growth. Contingent on various conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the month.