Missouri, United States — MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Solaicx, headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
Solaicx has developed proprietary continuous crystal growth manufacturing technology that it said yields low-cost, high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon wafers for the photovoltaic solar industry.
The Solaicx technology allows for very high-volume crystal growth compared to the silicon ingots produced in the traditional precision semiconductor manufacturing process. Solaicx has approximately 80 employees and a large-scale production facility in Portland, Oregon.
“Solaicx, along with its people and technical expertise, is a great addition to MEMC,” said Ken Hannah, president of MEMC Solar Materials. “Solaicx’s innovative and advanced manufacturing technology should enable us to reduce costs and improve efficiency, while enhancing our ability to drive the solar industry toward grid parity. Bringing MEMC and Solaicx together now is the right thing to do at the right time. The monocrystalline silicon market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 50 percent during the next three years. This transaction positions MEMC to significantly reduce the cost of monocrystalline silicon.”
MEMC will pay to the existing securityholders of Solaicx at closing cash in the amount of $66 million, plus an additional amount in cash equal to amounts which have been recently invested in, or which may be invested prior to closing in Solaicx by its existing securityholders. The aggregate additional investment amount is estimated to be approximately $10 million.
The acquisition is expected to close by the end of June 2010, subject to customary closing conditions, including Solaicx shareholder approval, and the receipt of regulatory approvals. MEMC expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in 2011, subject to purchase accounting adjustments.