AstroPower will acquire Aplicaciones Tecnicas de la Energia, in order to expand its reach into the global market for solar electric power.NEWARK, Delaware, US, 2001-08-30 [SolarAccess.com] AstroPower, Inc. will acquire Aplicaciones Tecnicas de la Energia, S.A. in order to expand its reach into the global market for solar electric power. Atersa is a private company based in Valencia, Spain, which manufactures PV modules and balance-of-system components, as well as system design and integration services. Atersa also designs and builds a range of module manufacturing equipment. Under the agreement, AstroPower will acquire Atersa and Atersa’s 50 percent stake in AstraSolar for 4,000 million pesetas (US$21 million) in a stock and cash transaction. Atersa shareholders will receive 58 percent of the total in cash and the balance in AstroPower shares. “We have had an outstanding relationship with Atersa for many years, and are very happy to be in a position to formally combine forces with this fine company,” says AstroPower president and CEO Allen Barnett. “We recognize the strong capabilities of the Atersa and AstraSolar teams and welcome them as an integral part of AstroPower going forward.” “AstroPower has been instrumental in supporting Atersa’s growth in the past,” says Fernando Monera, who will remain as Atersa president and chairman of the board. “We believe that the market is poised for dramatic growth particularly here in Spain, and feel that AstroPower’s support will further strengthen our ability to capture this opportunity.” The acquisition of Atersa is a further step in AstroPower’s strategy to increase its geographical reach and expand its product offerings. “This acquisition builds on our strategy of combining leading regional downstream market positions with AstroPower’s low-cost solar cell manufacturing technology,” explains vice president of marketing Peter Aschenbrenner. “The addition of Atersa to the AstroPower group should provide several key benefits and synergies.” Atersa has a strong distribution presence in the Spanish solar market, which AstroPower will use as a channel for serving the emerging grid-connected residential rooftop market. The Spanish company has also developed a large on-grid project business, led by the 13 MW, $65 million turnkey PV project in Murcia that will be constructed next year. “We expect the Spanish on-grid market (both residential and large project applications) to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the overall solar electric power business over the next few years, driven by incentive programs now being implemented,” adds Aschenbrenner. “We believe that this acquisition gives us an excellent platform from which to scale up our solar cell and module manufacturing presence in Europe, which has consistently accounted for more than half of AstroPower’s product revenue. Not only will this put production closer to our customers, but the increased Euro content of products made in Spain should allow us to capitalize on cost advantages driven by shifting exchange rates.” The transaction requires the approval of competition law authorities in Spain. A decision usually takes a month. AstroPower is based in Newark, Delaware and claims to be the world’s largest independent manufacturer of solar electric power products. It manufactures and sells PV solar cells, modules, panels and systems for generating electricity in both off-grid and on-grid applications.