ABN Amro takes majority stake in Dutch PV module testing company Eternal Sun

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The Netherlands’ third largest financial services provider, ABN Amro, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Dutch PV module testing company Eternal Sun for an undisclosed sum.

The bank said the majority interest was acquired by its Energy Transition Fund (ETF) and the investment meant Eternal Sun will be able to build out its global team and focus on new products and testing services.

“We have been able to double in size over the past three years in a very competitive market,” said Eternal Sun Group CEO Florian van Rijn van Alkemade. “With ETF as a new shareholder and [Belgian investment fund] Vermec staying on board, we can accelerate our growth. It allows us to increase our presence closer to our main markets, to accelerate new product development and to push our new test services offering.”

Eternal Sun operates through two units: Eternal Sun BV, which aims to provide innovative steady state solar simulation solutions for the R&D and certification market; and Spire Solar LLC, which focuses on the PV module manufacturing segment.

Shareholder gives approval

Eternal Sun announced the acquisition of Spire Solar – the solar testing division of the U.S.-based Spire Corporation – in June 2016. At the time, the move was described as an asset deal funded by a capital injection from Eternal Sun investor Vermec BV.

The Belgian fund is also on board with the latest transaction. “We are excited that ABN Amro ETF comes aboard, creating a more diversified shareholder structure [and] adding even more focus on sustainable energy solutions,” said Vermec CEO Michel Verhaeren. “We continue to be as committed to ESG [Eternal Sun Group] as we have been in past years.”

Eternal Sun was a pv magazine 2016 Technology Highlights winner for its Climate Chamber and Solar Simulatory, which brings together two testing processes in one piece of equipment. The Dutch company noted, by bringing together a climate chamber with its patented sun simulator light source, it could assist with quality verification for the developers of PV projects globally.