AUO, a Taiwan-based technology company, announced to sell its stake in its joint venture, AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. (AUSP), in Melaka, Malaysia. AUO’s partner will purchase AUO’s portion of the JV by paying AUO US$170 million. Through the transaction, AUO will restructure its solar businesses and turn to focus on development of PV systems, stated analysts at EnergyTrend.
Established in 2010, AUSP currently manufacturer approximately 800MW of solar cells per year, including high-efficiency back-contact cells. AUO announced to sell 1,128,755,000 units of its owning stake in the JV by US$0.15 per share, totaling US$170 million, to the JV partner SunPower following its decision to converge solar businesses on the downstream sector.
AUO expected to list a relative loss of US$ 7 million in the third quarter, yet emphasized that this would not be cash losses. Instead, the transaction, which is scheduled to be closed by the end of this September, will bring positive cash flow to AUO.
In the meantime, AUO has entered into a purchase agreement with SunPower Systems Sarl for 100MW of SunPower’s high-efficiency back-contact E-series solar panels. The agreement will help AUO to develop its solar power plant business.
EnergyTrend believes AUO will start its solar power plant business in homeland Taiwan because of the company’s special niches in Taiwanese market.
SunPower plans factory upgrades
"The solar industry expects continued growth for the foreseeable future, as solar power becomes increasingly cost effective in many countries," said Tom Werner, SunPower President and CEO.
SunPower plans to eventually upgrade the Melaka facility, which has been recognized by the International Energy Agency for its superior energy-efficient design and Leadership in LEED acknowledgement. The facility includes infrastructure built to allow for significant future capacity growth.
“Purchasing AUO's portion of the Melaka joint venture is an opportunity for us to enable technology upgrades, cost reductions and future expansion consistent with this strategy," added Werner.