GT Solar (SOLR) Adds LED Manufacturing With Purchase Of Crystal Systems

GT Solar (SOLR) has made a very interesting move this morning.  The company is diversifying its manufacturing operations and adding LED manufacturing to its solar ingot manufacturing business.  Smart move.  They purchased privately held Crystal Systems of Salem, MA which manufacturers large area sapphire substrates used in LED lighting, defense, medical and aerospace industries.

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GT Solar is paying $24 million in cash, 5.4 million shares of common stock and a $21 million cash earn-out which is based on the attainment of financial and technical targets.  Crystal Systems is profitable and expected to positively contribute to operating income over the next 18 months but won’t be accretive on an EPS basis until year end 2012.  More details will be announced on the earnings conference call Aug 5th.

SOLR CEO Tom Gutierrez: “Crystal Systems’ sapphire process knowledge complements our expertise in silicon growth technologies and we believe this combination will allow us to quickly deliver products that leapfrog sapphire crystallization technology available from other suppliers.  We expect to capitalize on the attractive opportunities we have identified in equipment, LED, and high tech specialty markets that require high-quality, low cost crystalline substrates. Crystal Systems has a rich history of innovation and we believe the combination of their technical expertise supported by our proven global operating experience and available capital resources will accelerate the adoption of new low-cost, high-quality crystalline sapphire solutions.”

Traders like the news this morning, sending the stock up about 4% in pre-market trading.  Technically, the stock continues to look significantly bullish and will offer opportunities on the pull backs as it did yesterday. 

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