It's starting to become a pattern: insolvent European solar firms (or pieces thereof) being acquired by Chinese firms, some already in the solar industry, some not.
Last week we saw Solibro, the modestly successful thin film unit of Q-Cells, acquired by Hanergy, a privately held Chinese power generator with gigawatts of hydropower assets. Q-Cells, once Germany's -- and the globe's -- largest solar manufacturer, filed for insolvency in April. Solibro shipped 66 megawatts of CIGS solar in 2011.
This week, Scheuten Solar, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) was acquired by Aikosolar, a solar cell manufacturer and owner of Chinese renewable project developer Powerway Renewable Energy, according to a press release. No financial details were divulged. Scheuten had filed for bankruptcy in February of this year.
In a statement, Powerway said, "With the upcoming anti-dumping and anti-subsidy policies in U.S and tightening PV incentives in Europe, It becomes a trend for downstream solar manufacturers to seek good market match-ups to guarantee and strengthen their position in the supply chain."
A spate of recent insolvencies of solar firms has provided opportunities for Chinese firms to gain a presence in Europe. LDK made plans to purchase Germany inverter firm Sunways earlier this year.
Regarding the Solibro acquisition, MJ Shiao of GTM Research noted, "The move by Hanergy is part of a recent trend of well-capitalized Asian companies investing heavily into thin film solar, especially in CIGS -- a trend that has included the likes of Hyundai, SK, TFG Radiant, TSMC, LG and many others."