German giant Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; XETRA: SIE) today clinched the deal to acquire Solel Solar Systems Ltd., paying $418 million for the Beit Shemesh-based solarthermal energy systems manufacturer. The sellers are London-based investment company Ecofin Ltd. and another shareholder, whose name was not disclosed. Siemens expects to close the deal before the end of the year.
Solel Solar has about 500 employees, including 400 in Israel, and had $90 million revenue in the first half of 2009. It is one of the world's two leading suppliers of solar receivers, - key components of parabolic trough power plants. Siemens said that it will keep Solel Solar's facilities open.
Solel Solar CEO Avi Brenmiller said, “Together, we will utilize our know-how in these core competencies to further optimize the water/steam cycle and to further boost the efficiency of solar thermal power plants. Thus we can accelerate the use of this clean technology. Combined with Siemens’ financial strength and its global sales and marketing activities, this will open up promising prospects for our business and hence also for all of Solel’s employees."
Solel has also been active in Spain since 2006, supplying key components for 15 solar thermal power plants with a combined capacity of 750 megawatts. The company is also active in the US. Its spokeswoman noted that the company has been seeking a buyer for the past months in order to gain more exposure to the international market and more capital for new initiatives.
Siemens president and CEO Peter Loscher said, “After the rapid and highly successful expansion of our wind power business, we now want to continue this success story in the solar sector. With the acquisition of Solel, Siemens can now strengthen its market position in the promising business of solar thermal power plants. We can thus further expand our extensive Environmental Portfolio, and, as already announced, we will become even greener."
Siemens Renewable Energy Division CEO Rene Umlauft added, “Siemens and Solel are a perfect match. We are the market leader in steam turbines for solar thermal power plants and, with the power block, we can offer a key part for solar power plants - the part that is responsible for power generation. Solel boasts high-efficiency receiver technology and comprehensive expertise in the engineering and construction of solar fields. In the future, we’ll be able to offer the key components for the construction of parabolic trough power plants from a single source and to further enhance the efficiency of these plants."
The companies say that the market for solar thermal power plants will show annual double-digit growth through 2020 to over €20 billion. Primary focal growth regions will be the US, South Africa, Australia, Spain, India, North Africa and the Middle East.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 15, 2009
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