Insolvent German solar manufacturer Q-Cells said it has an agreement with Hanwha Group to buy the company, a sign of the rapid consolidation moving through the solar industry.
Q-Cells, which was once the largest solar company, said the acquisition would be in the “medium double-digit million Euro range.” If the deal goes through, the amount will be about $63 million in cash, according to reports. At one point in 2007, Q-Cells had a multi-billion dollar market capitalization and shares near $100.
It’s the latest turn in an ongoing industry shakeout that has caused several bankruptcies which analysts expect will lead to consolidation among remaining companies.
The price of solar photovoltaic panels has dropped by about 50 percent in the past year and there’s a massive oversupply of panels in the market, creating a situation where it’s very difficult to operate profitably. Even SunTech, currently the largest supplier of solar panels, is struggling to stay afloat. (See, Once-Mighty Struggles to Survive).