The Australian business of SunEdison has been sold to US-based manufacturing company Flextronics, continuing that company’s growing interest in the solar and battery storage space.
Flextronics, which already manufacturers solar modules for SunEdison and is also manufacturing battery storage devices for Australian company Redflow, will pay $US8.7 million ($A11.6 million) for the SunEdison assets, according to documents filed with the US bankruptcy court.The assets include the Australian business and the “multi-channel” and residential solar businesses in the US and other countries.
The SunEdison businesses have been up for sale since the parent company was put into chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April after failing to manage a period of rapid expansion that made it at one stage the biggest renewable energy developer in the world.Flextronics – a company with $US26 billion in annual sales – has been manufacturing modules for SunEdison for six years, and last year agreed to set up a new manufacturing plant in Mexico, primarily aimed for US residential, utility and commercial solar PV projects.
It has also picked up a bargain in the Australian business, at least compared to the price paid by SunEdison for its foothold in Australia. In 2014, it paid a total of $A18.4 million, including $A3.1 million in cash and “contingent consideration” valued at $A14.0 million, for Energy Matters.There is speculation that the business will return to the Energy Matter brand. The business employs about 70 people in Australia and ranks in the top 10 installers of rooftop solar in the country. The assets do not include the Bulli Creek solar project, which will be sold separately.
The purchase, which is subject to court approval, continues a recent trend where major internationals buy outright, or significant stakes in, Australian solar installer and solar wholesalers.The world’s biggest poly-silicon company, GCL Poly, recently bought a WA business 1Stop Warehouse, while Chinese company SPI bough Solar Warehouse for $25 million.