Swiss manufacturer Meyer Burger sells wafer business to PSS

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From pv magazine Germany.

Swiss mechanical engineering company Meyer Burger Technology AG has agreed to sell its PV and specialty materials silicon wafer plant and service business to Precision Surfacing Solutions (PSS).

The agreed purchase price is CHF50 million ($50 million), the PV equipment manufacturer announced today.

PSS, a U.S.-based global supplier of equipment for precision surface solutions formerly known as Lapmaster Wolters, will take over most of Meyer Burger’s production facilities at the company headquarters in Thun as well as around 100 employees, 70 of whom work in Switzerland and 30 worldwide in wafer technology service areas.

Meyer Burger expects to finalize the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, at the end of March. The deal includes an earn-out component based on certain revenue levels this year, the Swiss company added.

“Although Meyer Burger grew from its roots in the wafering industry, our main focus today is on PV cell coating and module connection technologies,” said CEO Hans Brändle. The Swiss PV supplier focuses on heterojunction and smart wire connection technology as well as other promising cell and module technologies.

Jobs safeguarded

PSS is well-positioned in the semiconductor industry and could exploit wafer technology synergies. “The acquisition of Meyer Burger’s wafering technology portfolio will further enable us to strengthen and grow our activities in our key markets,” said PSS chief executive Brian Nelson. With more than 900 employees, the company is headquartered in the United States and has 13 manufacturing facilities on three continents.

PSS has signed a long-term lease with Meyer Burger for the Thun location and the deal will safeguard 100 employees and technological knowhow in Thun, said Brändle.

In Switzerland, product development and production activities for non-PV wafer systems and processes are set to continue and PV wafer production will remain in China. PSS will also provide services for wafer customers worldwide.