Interview: inside the Komax Solar management buyout

What was the impetus behind the management buyout of Komax Solar?

This Management Buyout (MBO) satisfies the Komax Group Board of Director’s earlier decision to exit the Solar Business. Since the same management team will be driving the business through a new company (Xcell Automation), the MBO assures that all existing and future Solar customers will experience a seamless transition from Komax Solar to Xcell Automation and will continue to receive the same state of the art products and services they are accustomed to receiving from Komax Solar.

Why did the management believe that the Komax Solar operations will remain a viable operation?

Komax Solar has always been known as an innovator in the solar industry and has set the standard for many of today’s cell interconnection technologies. The recently launched X3 is the latest offering in the Xcell series of "stringers" and will serve as the flag ship product for Xcell Automation.

The X3 represents the latest evolution of the Xcell family of stringers with a throughput which exceeds industry standards by 30% and a cost of ownership which is 18% below the competition’s. It’s many advanced features are the result of many years of experience combined with customer feedback.

Since there is no doubt about the long-term attractiveness of the solar business, the management team is confident that it will benefit from the incipient recovery in the equipment market.

Are there any concerns that the buyout will leave Komax Solar short of capital to fund R&D operations and to maintain its global operations while independent from the Komax Group?

In the beginning, the Komax Group will be a minority shareholder in Xcell Automation. The management team as well as the Komax Group have invested equity into Xcell Automation, and they have secured loans and credit facilities to sufficiently fund operations.

Where does the MBO leave Komax Solar?

Xcell Automation and Komax Solar will coexist for a period of time. The employees of Komax Solar will be taken over by Xcell Automation and Komax Solar obligations in regard to open projects and warranty support will be performed by Xcell Automation. Purchase Orders placed prior to October 1st 2014 will be accepted by Komax Solar and orders placed after October 1st 2014 will be accepted by Xcell Automation.

All orders whether placed with Komax Solar or Xcell Automation will be completed by Xcell Automation starting October 1st 2014. Xcell Automation will honor all Komax Solar quotations which have not expired. Even though Xcell Automation is a new company with a new name, most Komax Solar customers will not notice much of a change because the same people will be conducting the business out of the same locat

Xcell Automation will be led by Brian Micciche (President & CEO) as well as Pete Kostic (VP Sales) and Bill Duncan (VP Operations). Xcell Automation will maintain the same global footprint as Komax Solar and will operate its corporate headquarters out of Komax Solar’s existing York, PA USA facility.