MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) To Acquire Solaicx

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08:15:34 am on May 24, 2010

MEMC Electronic Materials just announced that it will be acquiring Solaicx, a company that has developed a patented continuous crystal growth manufacturing technology. This technology enables solar companies to produce more efficient monocrystalline silicon wafers at a low cost.

Solaicx is privately held; MEMC Electronic Materials will pay its securityholders $66 million in cash plus additional cash to cover their costs for recent investments made prior to closing, which is expected to be about $10 million. If the company meets specified performance targets over the next few years, there is also a provision for an earnout of up to an$27.6 million in the securityholders’ choice of cash and MEMC common stock.

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In a press release, Ken Hannah, President of MEMC Solar Materials, commented on the acquisition:

“Solaicx, along with its people and technical expertise, is a great addition to MEMC. Solaicx’s innovative and advanced manufacturing technology should enable us to reduce costs and improve efficiency, while enhancing our ability to drive the solar industry toward grid parity. Bringing MEMC and Solaicx together now is the right thing to do at the right time,” continued Hannah. “The monocrystalline silicon market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 50 percent during the next three years. This transaction positions MEMC to significantly reduce the cost of monocrystalline silicon.”

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