AstroPower Gets Boost from GPU

June 17, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

AstroPower (Newark, DE) announced that it has executed a term sheet with GPU Inc. (Morristown, NJ) to cooperate in the development of products and services that address the significant business opportunities resulting from electric industry restructuring. The two companies believe that electricity restructuring will create an increasing market for clean solar electric power and will develop projects to sell PV power into this market. As part of the planned agreement, GPU will purchase $7 million of common stock of AstroPower at a price of $14.50 per share, and will also receive a two year warrant for the purchase of 120,690 additional shares priced at $18.85 per share, representing a 30 percent premium to the $14.50 value. Under the new agreement, the residential rooftop activities previously undertaken by GPU Solar, the joint venture between AstroPower and GPU will now be managed by AstroPower.Dr. Allen M. Barnett, President and CEO of AstroPower, stated, "We are very enthusiastic about the potential of this new relationship. Customers have consistently voiced strong preference for solar power among the power generation options. We believe that the restructuring currently underway within the electric utility industry is providing an environment in which this demand can be addressed."Dr. Barnett added, "GPU will take the lead in project finance, contract negotiation, and legal review, while AstroPower will provide products and technical expertise. In summary, we are pleased by GPU's increased level of participation with us, including the equity capital investment and the premium-price warrants, reflecting the strength of our solar power business operations."