SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) concluded a contract in Shanghai about the acquisition of a majority stake of 72.5 percent in Jiangsu Zeversolar New Energy Co., Ltd., a leading inverter manufacturer in China. Zeversolar offers products specially tailored to the requirements of the Chinese photovoltaic market. With this joint venture, SMA is securing access to the growing Chinese market and is strategically consolidating its position as global market leader.
“Over the next few years, China will become the largest photovoltaic market worldwide. Up to now, we did not have access to this market due to local particularities. For this reason, our majority shareholding in Zeversolar is strategically highly relevant for us. We are taking advantage of this historic chance to successfully anchor SMA in a young growth market and to further establish our position as global market leader,” says SMA Speaker of the Managing Board, Pierre-Pascal Urbon. He also emphasizes the positive effects resulting from the transaction: “Through this transaction, SMA can open up the procurement channels in China more quickly than planned and, thus, advance ongoing cost-reduction measures at a faster rate.”
SMA plans to use the joint venture primarily to aid comprehensive operation in the Chinese market. Through this transaction SMA can optimally meet local requirements. “With this joint venture SMA is gaining access to products specifically tailored to the unique needs of the Chinese market. As a leading manufacturer in China, Zeversolar is also in contact with the prevailing customers and decision-makers in the energy industry. We will be serving the Chinese market via the modern production site in Yangzhong and are also in a position to quickly increase capacity through already established processes,” says Pierre-Pascal Urbon. It has always been SMA’s philosophy to carry out production locally should it be required by the conditions on-site. “Accordingly, we set up production sites in North America early on to establish our market leadership in the region,” explains Pierre-Pascal Urbon.
Chief Executive Officer at Zeversolar, Chen Yulong, is also very pleased with the signing of the contract: “We have managed to successfully position Zeversolar in the Chinese market over the course of several years. With this joint venture, we are creating a stable future for the company and will be able to implement our growth plans even faster. With SMA’s experience added to our roster, we will be able to advise our Chinese customers in the energy industry when it comes to the ever more important question of grid integration and, thus, set ourselves apart from our competitors. We are very happy that our management board stands in full support of the transaction and will play a major role in the further development of Zeversolar,” says Chen Yulong.
Zeversolar’s enterprise value based on SMA’s stake of 72,5 percent is CNY 319 million (approx. €40 million) from which net liabilities are deducted in order to determine the purchase price. The purchase is financed with cash on hand. The economic start of the joint venture is planned for January 1, 2013. The transaction is still subject to approval by Chinese government authorities and the responsible anti-trust offices. E. J. McKay acted as the financial advisor, CMS as the legal advisor, and Deloitte & Touche as the financial and tax due diligence consultant to SMA; Zhenghan acted as the legal advisor to Zeversolar.