Solar Company Acquired

Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. has entered into agreements with N.V. Bekaert S.A. and an affiliate (Bekaert) whereby ECD has acquired all of Bekaert’s interests in the photovoltaic joint ventures United Solar Systems Corp. and Bekaert ECD Solar Systems LLC (Uni- Solar) established in April 2000 by ECD and Bekaert to manufacture, market and sell photovoltaic products and systems.

Rochester Hills, Michigan – May 15, 2003 [] Material terms of the agreements provide that: * ECD will pay Bekaert US$6 million; * ECD will assume Bekaert’s guarantees with respect to certain liabilities of the joint ventures amounting to approximately US$25 million; * Bekaert will receive rights to technologies outside the field of photovoltaics and rights limited to build sputtering machines outside the field of triple-junction photovoltaics. ECD is committed to rapidly ramping up Uni-Solar’s production and sales. Uni-Solar is currently shipping products from its new 30 MW manufacturing equipment, the world’s largest production machine for the manufacture of thin-film amorphous silicon alloy solar cells. It is capable of producing nine miles and six tons of solar cells in three days, which makes Uni-Solar one of the four largest manufacturers of solar cells and related products in the United States as well as the only mass producer of thin-film amorphous silicon solar products. In connection with the assumption of certain Bekaert guarantees, ECD provided US$36 million to the joint ventures to terminate a sale-and-lease-back arrangement related to equipment financing and, as a result, freed up US$20 million that had been restricted in support of the guarantee of this lease. ECD currently is in negotiations to enter into a new sale-and-lease-back arrangement. IAS Equities, Inc., an investment banking and consulting firm, acted as ECD’s financial advisor in the transaction. “We understand Bekaert’s need to exit the ventures and appreciate its past support and role in enabling us to expand our manufacturing capacity,” said Stanford R. Ovshinsky, ECD President and CEO and Chairman and CEO of Uni-Solar, and Robert C. Stempel, ECD Chairman. “Due to the success of and response to products being manufactured by the 30 MW machine, we will continue to offer our unique proprietary solar solution to grow the much-needed global solar business. ECD will seek new strategic alliances with third parties to continue to increase market share.” “Our companies have the people and the resources to expand our business around the world. With Uni-Solar’s proprietary advanced manufacturing facility and the strong sales and marketing program the company is implementing, we are in a very strong position to continue to build a successful business,” said Subhendu Guha, President and Chief Operating Officer of Uni-Solar. ECD and Bekaert formed the Uni-Solar joint venture in 2000. While continuing to have confidence in Uni-Solar’s unique products and technology as well as the long-term potential of photovoltaics, the new management team at Bekaert has decided to concentrate on the company’s core business and exit the photovoltaic joint ventures.
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