Taiwan: Schedule agreed for three-way solar merger


Reports from Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) state the merger between three of the island’s largest solar cell makers will be completed on October 1.

The merger, first announced last October, will unite cell manufacturers Neo Solar Power, Gintech Energy Corp and Solartech Energy Corp as the United Renewable Energy Company (UREC).

Gintech and Solartech announced September 17 as the final day their shares would trade on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Neo Solar Power – which under the terms of the merger will be renamed and will bring the other two companies under its umbrella – told Central News Agency a timeframe for any change to its shares has not been finalized.

The merger has received approval from Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission and international regulators and CNA reports that, under the terms of the agreement, one Gintech share will be swapped for 1.39 Neo Solar shares, and one Solartech share will be exchanged for 1.17 Neo Solar holdings.

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Taiwan’s government, through its National Development Fund, is expected to invest up to NT$5 billion (U.S.$163 million) in United Renewable Energy Co and the company will raise further capital by issuing new shares.

With the merger the companies are aiming at vertical integration, from wafer manufacturing to module supply, as well as further downstream into project management. Analysts expect UREC to initially focus on Taiwan’s domestic market, which has set an ambitious target of 20 GW of solar installations by 2025.

“The establishment of UREC will allow Taiwan’s solar cell industry to get rid of its role as foundries and further urge the green energy industry to root and grow strongly in Taiwan,” stated a press release announcing the planned merger in October.

The combined production capacity of the new company, however, will exceed local demand, and the three firms reportedly have their sights on global markets and on reducing the industry’s dependence on modules from mainland China. Reports emerged in January that UREC has plans for a module factory in the U.S.

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