EC greenlights ABB acquisition of Power-One


The European Commission has approved ABB’s $1 billion takeover of California-based inverter manufacturer Power-One.

The Swiss engineering giant announced the acquisition of the company in April – a move that solidifies its position as one of the leading global suppliers of solar inverters.

The Commission said the proposed acquisition did not raise competition concerns "given the limited to moderate combined market shares and the small increments resulting from the merger."

In addition, the EC noted that several strong competitors remain in the affected markets for renewable energy converters and clients have a sufficient supply of alternatives for the products in question.

ABB looks set to expand its activities in the solar industry following the appointment last month of chief executive designate Ulrich Spiesshofer, who will succeed outgoing CEO Joe Hogan in September.

ABB has said it is open for growth opportunities in the sector if it makes strategic sense.

Maxine Ghavi, the head of ABB’s solar business, said last month that the acquisition of Power-One provided ABB with "access to the entire market, from private homes and commercial buildings to power plants" and pointed out that the global solar market was expected to grow more than 10% in the coming years. Inverters form the brain of the photovoltaic system and therefore offer less risk that the devices will become cheap mass produced goods, she added.

ABB recently announced plans to expand inverter production facilities in South Africa and India in addition to existing plants in Estonia and China.