Now that Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. owns MiaSolé, the Chinese buyer expects to resuscitate the floundering solar-panel maker.
MiaSole, based in Santa Clara, Calif., manufactures solar photovoltaic cells-a thin-film used on solar panels that is deemed more efficient than traditional silicon cells when converting sunlight into electricity. However, prices of silicon cells dipped due to intense competition from Chinese rivals. Sales of the new technology plummeted and the circumstances contributed to several other U.S. solar panel companies filing for bankruptcy protection. Among them are Abound Solar Inc., Beacon Power LLC and Solyndra LLC.
Even though MiaSolé didn't file bankuptcy, it made its troubles known. In August 2012, the company announced that it was looking to do a deal as part of a restructuring in order to reduce costs and boost production. Enter Hanergy, which offered $30 million to acquire MiaSolé in October. The transaction wrapped up on Jan. 9.
"We firmly believe in the prospects of this company and this industry," Hanergy chairman Li Hejun Li said at a conference when the deal closed.
Hanergy expects to boost MiaSole's research and increase its sales, in spite of the downturn in the solar market, Li
Hanergy is no stranger to renewable energy. Aside from owning interests in hydro and wind power, the company manufactures solar cell materials. In June, Hanergy agreed to buy Solibro, a unit of bankrupt solar panel maker Q-Cells. Solibro, like MiaSolé, makes thin film that is placed between sheets of glass that can be used in windows or on rooftops.
MiaSolé, in its own right, ships its product to more than 30 customers across seven countries.