Day4 Energy to Acquire ACI-ecotec

ACI-ecotec headquarters in Germany
ACI-ecotec headquarters in Germany.

Day4 Energy Inc., a leading supplier of high performance, cost-effective solar electric solutions, has announced that following approval from the Day4 Energy board of directors it has entered into an agreement in principle to acquire ACI-ecotec GmbH & Co. KG, a privately owned specialized photovoltaic equipment design and manufacturing company based in Germany. Day4 will acquire 100% of ACI in an all stock transaction of up to 10.8 million shares of Day4 subject to post closing adjustment. The acquisition is subject to the completion of definitive documentation, approval of these documents by Day4’s directors, and obtaining all required consents and approvals, including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange to the issue of the Day4 shares.

The combination of the Day4 proprietary and patented technology and ACI’s specialized know-how and equipment allows Day4 to immediately launch the offering of its highly anticipated turn-key manufacturing technology solution for production of PV cells and PV modules based on proprietary technologies developed by Day4. ACI’s existing customer relationships, execution capabilities, and solid market reputation provide Day4 with a unique opportunity to rapidly roll out its manufacturing technology offering across a wide cross section of PV manufacturers in a number of key markets. At the same time ACI’s manufacturing process and equipment engineering capabilities will add significant depth to Day4’s R&D team and allow the company to significantly accelerate the development of the next generations of PV technology.

Based on the patented Day4 Electrode and Guardian technologies, Day4’s manufacturing solution offers PV cell and module producers an opportunity to reduce their investment and production costs while achieving sustainable differentiation in highly competitive solar markets by producing one of the industry’s highest performing products that customers around the world have grown to associate with the highest levels of reliability, energy production, and investment return.

With technological differentiation rapidly emerging as a critical area for most PV manufacturers, Day4’s offering of a turn-key package of manufacturing technology, proprietary equipment, process, product design, and technology license is a natural evolution of the company’s business.

“Technology and market development has been the focal point of our strategy since the company was founded in 2001. Over the course of the last 3 years we have completed the industrial scale-up of our proprietary manufacturing process. We have also built a strong track record of superior field performance and quality behind the Day4 product brand. Today we have taken the next step towards making this next generation technology platform available to partners across the industry,” said George Rubin, president of Day4. “ACI’s engineering and manufacturing system integration capabilities are critical to our ability to deliver our industry leading technology platform to the PV industry. What makes this acquisition particularly attractive is the level of interest ACI was able to generate among its customers during the test marketing of the Day4 manufacturing solution package and overall business proposition.”

By offering a turn-key Day4 PV cell and PV module manufacturing solution to the PV industry Day4 is looking to significantly expand the market share of products based on Day4’s proprietary technology in existing as well as new and emerging markets around the world. Furthermore, Day4 manufacturing solutions sales are expected to significantly alter the company’s revenue model as manufacturing line integration services and technology royalty streams associated with the new product offering become an increasingly large component of the company’s revenue mix over time.

“We are very excited about the chance to work with Day4 in this new venture to address this unique and exciting opportunity,” added Mr. Karl-Heinz Menauer, CEO of ACI. “Our established relationships with a large number of PV industry manufacturers can be leveraged for the purpose of ramping up sales of Day4 technology. In fact, our pre-marketing efforts have been met with a high degree of excitement and enthusiasm with a number of ACI customers already approaching us to join the Day4 platform. This is an opportunity for a number of these players to elevate themselves from the pack with a unique product offering, reduced manufacturing cost base and access to future technology enhancements based on this next generation manufacturing platform.”

“By expanding our business to offer a complete manufacturing solution we are taking the logical and critical next step in the evolution of our company towards our ultimate goals of achieving energy cost parity and expanding the presence of Day4’s innovative high performance technology in solar generation markets while making efficient use of our capital.” said Dr. John MacDonald, CEO and Chairman of Day4.

The company will provide more specific financial guidance regarding the positive impacts of the transaction during its first quarter earnings conference call on May 11, 2010. The parties anticipate closing the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, in the first half of 2010.

GMP Securities L.P. provided a fairness opinion regarding the acquisition to the Day4 board of directors.

Day4 Energy is a Canadian company dedicated to providing high performance photovoltaic solutions for residential, commercial, and utility scale installations. By fundamentally improving on the design and assembly of solar cells and modules, the Company produces unique PV panels of high power density, increased lifetime and uncompromised aesthetic appearance. Day4 partners with international technology leaders to develop and deliver IEC- and UL-certified solar products to customers around the world.

ACI-ecotec GmbH & Co. KG, located in South Germany, was founded in 1980 and develops, builds, and integrates state-of-the-art production automation and process equipment for the photovoltaic industry. This includes precision robotic work-cells and turn-key production lines for assembly, micro-assembly, measurement, and testing, for the production of Photovoltaic Wafers Cells and Modules. Products include the ecoSol for the production of Solar Modules; the ecoContact for contacting of Thin Film Modules and Cells; the ecoSplit for raw wet wafer separation, and a leading market-share process carrier for solar wafers and cells, the ecoCarrier.

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