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MEMC cuts Motech deal, works with Suntech

Posted: 10 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMC? Motech? Suntech? solar wafer? silicon wafer?

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. said last week that it has discontinued its short-lived solar agreement with Motech Industries Inc. of Taiwan and will instead work with rival Suntech Power Holdings Ltd of China.

On April 18, silicon wafer specialist MEMC signed a non-binding letter of intent for the supply of solar wafers to solar-cell maker Motech over an eight-year period.

"Over recent days it has become apparent that the parties would be unable to reach mutually acceptable definitive agreements within the prescribed timeframe, and therefore MEMC and Motech have agreed to discontinue discussions regarding their previously announced letter of intent," according to MEMC in a statement.

Instead, MEMC and Suntech announced that they have signed a non-binding letter of intent for the supply of solar grade silicon wafers. Suntech is believed to be China's largest solar-cell provider.

Under the terms, MEMC will supply solar wafers to Suntech over a 10-year period, with pre-determined pricing, on a take or pay basis beginning in the first quarter of 2007.

Sales of the wafers over the 10-year period would generate between $5-to-$6 billion in revenue for MEMC. Suntech will advance funds to MEMC in the form of an interest-free loan or security deposit, which will be used expansion of MEMC's manufacturing capacity.

In addition, MEMC will receive a warrant to purchase up to a 4.99 percent equity stake in Suntech.

"Suntech is a fast growing player in the solar market, and we are pleased with the prospect of helping them achieve a leading role in the marketplace," said Nabeel Gareeb, MEMC's chief executive, in a statement.

The deal reflects the parties' intent to conclude a definitive agreement in August 2006. MEMC and Suntech cannot assure that the definitive agreement will be concluded within this time frame, or at all. Execution of the definitive agreement is contingent on agreement on all material terms and other customary closing conditions for transactions of this nature.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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