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Oerlikon exits solar market – sells Oerlikon Solar

The Oerlikon Group is selling Oerlikon Solar to semiconductor production equipment provider Tokyo Electron Ltd, as the group continues its operational restructuring and cost cutting excercises.

By Kari Williamson

Oerlikon says the sale is a strategic move “to focus its portfolio and enable management to develop the larger, high-performing businesses in the group".

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but Oerlikon says the deal “secures our customers” and will “maintain service levels at the highest standards.” The fate of the 675 Oerlikon Solar employees at 8 locations world-wide is not yet known.

Dr Michael Buscher, CEO of Oerlikon Group, comments: "This divestment is an important part of our strategy to streamline and balance the Group portfolio. TEL is an ideal strategic buyer for our solar business. Its main operations are close to the predominantly Asian customer base and having had a partnership with them for three years, they know our Solar Segment well.

“The sale will give us the opportunity to focus on our high performing businesses, where we have critical mass, strong market positions and the potential to grow even further with increased profitability. We are convinced that this step is also the best solution for our employees as TEL is a strategic buyer aiming to develop a core solar business."

Hiroshi Takenaka, President & CEO of TEL, adds: "Over the past three years we have confirmed Oerlikon Solar's technological strength through our activities as a sales representative in the Asia and Oceania regions. TEL will take this opportunity to combine Oerlikon Solar's expertise and TEL's own semiconductor production equipment technologies that we have developed over many years to further improve performance.

“The establishment of operations in the photovoltaic power generation business, that is anticipated to demonstrate continued development in the future, is one part of TEL's growth strategies, and we are also confident that we can contribute to the mitigation of global environmental issues in our role as a production equipment manufacturer."

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets