Aker Horizons ASA’s wholly owned subsidiary Aker Horizons Holding AS (“Aker Horizons”) has today entered into an agreement with South Korea’s Hanwha Solutions Corporation (“Hanwha Solutions”), one of the leading solar PV manufacturers in the US, and with REC Silicon ASA (“REC Silicon”).
Hanwha Solutions will acquire 21,891,275 shares in REC Silicon from Aker Horizons and will subscribe for 48,213,001 new shares in REC Silicon through a private placement in REC Silicon. Both transactions are conditional upon each other and will be completed simultaneously, and are done at the same share price of NOK 20 per share.
The private placement will provide approximately NOK 964 million in proceeds to REC Silicon, and will be implemented based on the existing authorization granted to the board of REC Silicon. The share sale will provide proceeds to Aker Horizons Holding AS of approximately NOK 438 million. Following the transaction, Aker Horizons and Hanwha Solutions will each own approximately 16.67 percent of the shares in REC Silicon.
“Aker Horizons develops industrial scale solutions to contribute towards meeting Net Zero by 2050 or sooner,” said Kristian Røkke, Chief Executive Officer of Aker Horizons. “REC Silicon is the lowest CO2 footprint producer of polysilicon globally, and we see further potential for positive impact through the development of a US solar value chain. We welcome Hanwha Solutions as a shareholder and partner in the development of REC Silicon with their extensive capabilities and ambitions.”
The transaction brings together two of the leading producers in different parts of the solar PV value chain. Hanwha Solutions is one of the world’s largest solar PV manufacturers with a total cell manufacturing capacity of 10GW globally. The company provides high-quality solar PV panels to the residential market through their wholly owned brand Q CELLS, which holds a 25 percent market share in the US1. The company operates one of the largest solar module factories in the US with an annual production capacity of 1.7GW, corresponding to 12,000 PV modules per day.
REC Silicon is a leading producer of advanced silicon materials, delivering high-purity polysilicon and silicon gas to the solar and electronics industries worldwide. Operating two polysilicon manufacturing facilities in the US, the company has an annual production capacity of 20,000 MT. REC Silicon’s highly advanced and efficient FBR production process at Moses Lake uses significantly less energy compared to the traditional process. Using hydropower-based clean energy, REC Silicon can produce low-cost polysilicon with a low carbon footprint.
The transactions are expected to strengthen REC Silicon’s financial position and ensure that REC Silicon has the necessary resources to reopen its FBR facility in Moses Lake, Washington, and enable valuable investment opportunities in Butte, Montana. Hanwha Solutions’ investment represents a step towards establishing a highly efficient, low carbon solar value chain in the US and to ensure that REC Silicon plays an integral role in these efforts.
The Solar Energy Manufacturing for America (SEMA) Act currently being considered in the US Congress is aimed specifically at encouraging strategic investments in US manufacturing capabilities. This transaction clearly demonstrates the potential to build solar manufacturing capabilities in the US quickly and efficiently – which is the primary objective of the proposed SEMA Act. The eventual passage of the legislation will support the parties’ ambitions to establish a comprehensive US solar value chain, from production of polysilicon to fully assembled solar modules.
Completion of the transactions is expected to occur early in the first quarter 2022, subject to customary anti-trust filing in the US.