Flextronics to buy NEXTracker

Today, global electronics manufacturing services company Flextronics announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NEXTracker, the fourth-largest solar tracker company globally in 2014.

Flextronics will initially pay US$245 million in cash for the privately-held tracker maker, as well as an equity incentive plan and the possibility of paying an additional $85 million if NEXTracker reaches performance targets.

Flextronics expects to close on the deal in December 2015. The company says it will fund this from “currently available resources”, noting its strong cash position.

NEXTracker will operate as a subsidiary, maintaining its brand under the leadership of existing CEO Dan Shugar. Flextronics notes says that its experience in the energy sector and solar manufacturing, as well as its global presence will benefit the tracker maker.

This move comes as trackers are becoming increasingly popular for utility-scale solar installations. In May, IHS predicted that tracking technology would be installed on 20% of ground-mounted solar in 2015, up from only 11% in 2013. Trackers have been particularly popular in the United States.

And while there are larger companies by market share, IHS’ May report singled out NEXTracker for notice. “Not only has NEXTracker been a successful preferred supplier of trackers for SunEdison, a leading global EPC player, the company has really embraced the global PV market by shipping its trackers to Chile, Australia and other international markets outside of the United States,” stated IHS Senior Solar Analyst Cormac Gilligan.

Since that report, NexTracker is looking even stronger. In June the company signed an agreement to supply 1 GW of its trackers to Blattner Energy over the next two years for projects in the United States.