Santa Clara, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Applied Materials, Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Baccini S.p.A., a leading supplier of automated metallization and test systems for manufacturing crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) cells. Under the terms of the agreement, Applied will pay €225 million (US$330 million) in cash for all of the outstanding shares of Baccini.
Combining Baccini’s reliable processing of ultrathin wafers with Applied’s semiconductor interconnect processing and manufacturing capabilities, will make automated production technology for fabricating advanced c-Si solar cells easier and will allow customers to minimize the use of silicon material, which now represents more than 60% of solar cell manufacturing cost.“With this acquisition, Applied will become a leading provider of c-Si cell manufacturing solutions to the PV industry,” said Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials. “As a key supplier to both the c-Si and thin film solar markets, we are committed to driving down the cost and ramping up the scale of PV manufacturing to make solar energy competitive with grid electricity. We are especially excited by the opportunity to engage in key efforts to meet this challenge in Italy – a country with strong geographic potential for realizing early grid parity.”