General Electric to Acquire AstroPower

March 14, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

General Electric Co. (Fairfield, CT) announced that it will acquire AstroPower Inc. (Newark, DE), a large US-owned maker of solar equipment. GE is set to buy the bulk of AstroPower for $15 million in cash and an estimated $3.5 million in debt, along with other liabilities to be settled.

The technology supports the goal of GE's Chairman Jeffrey Immelt to become a leader in markets based on renewable-energy technology and energy efficiency, including wind power, fuel cells, hydrogen storage and microturbines. While the acquisition, which has a net income last year of $15 billion, is small compared to GE's revenues of $134 billion, the move is being considered as a decisive step in solar technology.