Tokyo Electron buys Oerlikon Solar

Solar PV component manufacturer Tokyo Electron (TEL) has completed its acquisition of Oerlikon Group’s solar arm, buying Oerlikon Solar for 250 million Swiss francs (US$268 million), Oerlikon announces.

Oerlikon Solar has now been rebranded as TEL Solar AG, with its headquarters in Switzerland.

The Japanese company, Tokyo Electron (TEL), which manufactures semiconductors for the PV market, is hoping to optimise its new subsidiary’s thin-film technology, and make solar PV panel production part of its core business.

Hiroshi Takenaka, chief executive of TEL, said: “We can expect thin-film silicon photovoltaic panels to accommodate significant growth in prospective electric demand in regions with abundant sunlight, as a result of their superiority in performance in the regions and the cost advantages.”

"There’s no getting away from the fact that the renewables industry is at a critical point in its evolution".
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He added: “Oerlikon Solar has world-leading technologies in this field relating to conversion efficiency and manufacturing costs. By combining its technologies with the advanced technologies that TEL has nurtured in the semiconductor production equipment business, we will be able to develop more competitive devices.

The deal, which marks Switzerland-based Oerlikon Group’s exit from the solar market, was first announced in March, as part of Oerlikon’s on-going efforts to cut its operating costs. Over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to operate in the solar PV sector, and many company continue to feel the solar squeeze.

“The closing of this transaction marks another important step in the optimisation of our business portfolio,” said Michael Buscher, chief executive of the Oerlikon Group. “TEL, as a strategic buyer and leading supplier of semiconductor production equipment, is well suited to utilise the advantages of the thin film silicon solar technology in a sustainable and successful manner.”


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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity