Bosch in 1.1 Billion Euro Solar Power Bid for ersol

Bosch has made an EU 1.1B [US $1.7B] takeover bid for ersol Solar Energy AG, the German solar energy company, marking the first big move by one of the world’s major industrial groups in this part of the renewable sector.

Bosch, the privately-owned German conglomerate, is offering €101 [US $156] a share in cash, a 63 percent premium to ersol’s closing price on Friday. Bosch has secured 50.1 percent of the group through the €546 million [US $ 843 million] purchase of the stake held by Ventizz, a private equity firm.

The offer for ersol is likely to be watched with interest by industrial groups. It, along with Conergy and Q-Cells, are the largest solar groups in the world. 

Companies such as General Electric and Siemens have monitored the solar energy sector closely but apart from a few small purchases by GE, the large industrial companies have yet to act.

Some executives remain skeptical and believe that oversupply and a fall in subsidies could hit prices and margins.

However, Franz Fehrenbach, Bosch’s chief executive, said the group — owned by a charitable foundation — wanted to add to its renewable energy activities, which included making wind turbines, thermal pumps and drives for marine power.

Bosch already makes solar collectors for hot-water generation and has a partnership with BASF and Heliatek, both of Germany, to produce cheaper organic photovoltaic cells used in the industry.

However the offer for ersol, which had €160m in sales last year and is expected to have €300m this year, represents a significant increase.

This story was originally published on Power Engineering International and was reprinted with permission.

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