Hanergy Buys Thin-Film Solar Panel Maker MiaSole

Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. bought MiaSole Inc., a California-based thin-film panel maker backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and ArcelorMittal, to increase capacity in anticipation of a solar industry revival.

The acquisition by the Beijing-based renewableenergy producer is its second in a less than a year after it bought the Solibro unit of Germany’s Q-Cells SE in June, Hanergy said in a statement today. Financial terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed.

Hanergy “has been actively expanding production capacity as we expect a rebound in the second half of this year” or in the first six months of 2014, Chairman Li Hejun said at a press conference in Beijing today. The company, which will continue to seek technology acquisitions, expects to produce 2.5 gigawatts of panels this year, compared with “several hundred megawatts” last year, Li said.

Chinese renewableenergy companies, including solar-wafer maker LDK Solar Co., are buying companies in the west, where slowing demand and rising supply have trimmed profit margins. The purchases also give Hanergy technology to compete with First Solar Inc., the biggest maker of thin-film panels by shipments.

A thin-film solar cell is made by placing layers of photovoltaic material on a semiconductor wafer. MiaSole’s products are made using copper, indium, gallium and selenium, instead of silicon, and are designed for large rooftop and ground-mounted industrial deployment, according to its website.

MiaSole and Solibro “can share patents, technology, supply chains and commercial synergies,” John Carrington, chief executive officer at MiaSole, told reporters today.

The Santa Clara-based company’s other investors include VantagePoint Venture Partners, Firelake Capital Management and Passport Capital, according to its website.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

Lead image: Big fish eats small fish via Shutterstock

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