MEMC Buys Solar Project Developer SunEdison

Oct 27 2009 | 1:00am ET

Silicon wafer provider MEMC Electronic Materials will buy Maryland-based SunEdison, a privately held developer of solar power projects and provider of solar energy services.

MEMC is to pay $200 million to SunEdison security holders – 70% in stock and 30% in cash – with an earn-out provision worth up to $89 million, should SunEdison meet certain performance targets in 2010. In addition, the agreement calls for employee retention payments of $17 million in cash at closing, plus up to $34 million in stock which is subject to SunEdison meeting certain performance criteria. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, should be closed by the end of 2009.

“This acquisition will provide a third engine of growth for MEMC,” said Ahmad Chatila, chief executive officer of MEMC. “MEMC will now participate in the actual development of solar power plants and commercialization of clean energy, in addition to supplying the solar and semiconductor industries with our traditional silicon wafer products.”

SunEdison has built about 300 solar power plants, representing approximately 80MW of generating capacity, for customers in the United States, Canada and Europe. The company “simplifies solar” by managing the development, financing, operation and monitoring of solar power plants for commercial customers, including many national retail outlets, government agencies, and utilities. In a typical structure SunEdison arranges third-party, non-recourse financing for the facility and the customer has no up-front capital outlay.

SunEdison will continue to operate with the SunEdison name, as a subsidiary of MEMC.

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