LDK Solar Agrees to Acquire 70% of Solar Power, Inc. for $33 Million

January 09, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

LDK Solar Co., Ltd. a manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, high purity polysilicon and PV products, and Solar Power, Inc. (SPI) announced that LDK Solar agreed to acquire a 70% interest in SPI for approximately $33 million. LDK Solar’s investment provides strategic benefits to both parties. The transaction significantly strengthens SPI’s balance sheet, which will enable the acceleration of the development of its project pipeline, which primarily consists of utility-scale power plants and commercial/industrial distributed generation systems. SPI’s growing development portfolio and pipeline, in turn, should provide LDK Solar with enhanced downstream benefit to its vertical integration model through module supply for large scale projects.

In addition, LDK Solar will purchase certain components of SPI’s manufacturing equipment and assume total manufacturing control of SPI’s former module manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. SPI will maintain a separate logistical team in Shenzhen to enhance project development, design and related project management functions at a new location in Shenzhen. The transition in manufacturing is strategic; allowing SPI to focus on development and construction of large scale and utility scale U.S. solar projects, while maintaining product quality and enhancing its competitive position. As a vertically integrated manufacturer and supplier of photovoltaic (PV) products, LDK Solar has more than 20,000 employees worldwide.

"We are very pleased with this new strategic relationship," said Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. "We have known the SPI team for several years and have been very impressed with the quality of their work and the caliber of the customers they serve. We look forward to working closely with the team that is responsible for outstanding solar projects such as the Staples Center and the Aerojet solar farm," Chairman Peng stated. "This transaction also expands our downstream vertical integration opportunities and provides LDK Solar and SPI the opportunity to jointly explore opening manufacturing operations in the U.S. to further enhance SPI’s competitive advantage in North America."

"This investment in SPI clearly places our company among the most elite photovoltaic solar developers today," said Steve Kircher Chairman and CEO of Solar Power, Inc. "We are honored that LDK Solar has placed value in our legacy projects and in our pipeline. Projects such as the Aerojet solar farm, a 6MW ground mount, single-axis tracking solar system, and the Staples Center, our first installation of Skymount, SPI’s proprietary rooftop system, reflect the quality of our team," Mr. Kircher added. "LDK Solar’s commitment to project development through capital from their direct stock purchase clearly enhances our position in the market. The strength of our newly combined vertical platform should provide us significant competitive advantages going forward," Mr. Kircher concluded.

The terms of the investment are detailed in the Form 8-K filed by SPI, which outlines the timing of the proposed investment and closings.