GCL-Poly, one of the leading polysilicon and multi-si wafer manufacturers in China, announced to acquire certain assets from SunEdison in US$150 million. The assets include SunEdison’s fifth generation CCZ crystallization technology, FBR process technology, and a 65.25% controlling stake in South Korean joint venture SMP.
China media PVTIME revealed that GCL-Poly and SunEdison entered into the agreement on August 26, agreeing on transitions of SunEdison Products Singapore, MEMC Pasadena, Solaicx and a major stake in SMP. The acquisition was announced by GCL-Poly on August 28.
For the acquisition, GCL-Poly has offered a US$50 million deposit. The deposit can be withdraw by GCL-Poly if the acquisition were failed to pass antitrust regulations in USA or Singapore.
A Chinese PV industry insider also unveiled that GCL New Energy, a subsidiary of GCL Group, may consider acquiring SunEdison’s solar assets.
GCL-Poly to take over SunEdison’s leading silicon technologies
SunEdison built its business by producing semiconductor-use silicon materials in 1950s. Although the company has successfully become a large player after its entrance into the PV industry in 2006, SunEdison went into bankruptcy in April, 2016 due to dire financial straits which were resulted from over ambitious steps developing yieldco portfilios and the acquisition of Vivint Solar in mid-2015.
Since it filed for chapter 11, SunEdison has been undergoing a series of restructuring and liquidation. SunEdison has already sold its wafer factory in Kuching, Malaysia to China’s Xi’an LONGi Silicon Materials Corp. earlier this year. It was also reported that SunEdison is now open to sell its two yieldco vehicles, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global.
GCL-Poly is the second Chinese buyer to SunEdison’s assets, which selected to acquire SunEdison’s silicon-related technologies and company stakes.
SunEdison produced polysilicon through FBR process in both USA and South Korea. In South Korea, SunEdison has already reached mass production of 20,000 tons of capacity in 2015 at SMP factory, a joint venture established with a local company. On the other hand, GCL-Poly has 25,000 tons of FBR-processed polysilicon capacity, of which 10,000 tons were successfully put into mass production. By adding SMP’s production capacity, GCL-Poly will replace REC Silicon as the world’s largest polysilicon producer that utilizes FBR process.
MEMC’s fifth generation CCZ crystallization technology, which is known of producing high quality wafers, was another key technology that acquired by GCL-Poly.
GCL-Poly released in the announcement that this acquisition involves in transferring SunEdison’s production technologies, production platforms and equipment, intellectual properties, and human resources. GCL-Poly believes that SunEdion’s know-how and technologies will increase its production capacity of FBR-processed polysilicon as well as improve crystallization quality of ingot while reducing production costs.