SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) and Danfoss A/S plan to enter into a close strategic partnership for a step change in competitiveness. The two leading system technology specialists will take full advantage of economies of scale and joint development initiatives. In addition, Danfoss acquires 20% of SMA’s outstanding shares and plans to sell its complete solar inverter business to SMA.
“The strategic alliance with Danfoss strengthens SMA’s leading position in the global photovoltaic market. We are faced with a highly competitive market environment and increased price pressure. In this context, SMA will benefit from Danfoss’ years of experience in automated drives. This market has been characterized by fierce competition for a long time. Accordingly, the strategy of the Danfoss group targets continuous cost improvements through global sourcing and cost down initiatives. By establishing a close cooperation there is significant potential to improve the cost position in both companies,” says SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon.
With the acquisition of Danfoss’ solar inverter business, SMA will increase the attractiveness of its product portfolio. After the completion of the transaction SMA will launch new products for the fast growing market segments of medium-sized photovoltaic plants in Europe, China and the USA.
“With the strong cooperation between Danfoss, as a leading specialist in the field of drives, and SMA, with a unique positioning in the solar inverter market, both companies will create one of the world’s largest converter alliances with a global presence. A shareholding of 20% in SMA is a bold statement and proves our continued dedication and confidence in the solar business. We are committed to drive innovation and competitiveness by integrating Danfoss know how from the drives technology to the photovoltaic inverter business. Danfoss will certainly benefit from economies of scale and the high growth rates of the solar industry,” explains Niels B. Christiansen, President and CEO of Danfoss.
Danfoss acquires 6.94 million of SMA shares at a price of €43.57 per share from the SMA founders, their trusts and families. The cash consideration corresponds to a premium of 50% to the volume-weighted average share price over the last 60 days. The transaction volume amounts to €302,38 million. After completion of the transaction the freely tradable free float of the SMA share will be at 25.05%. The SMA founders, their trusts and families will hold 54.95% of the SMA shares after the transaction is completed. Danfoss will not buy or sell shares for a lock-up period of at least 2 years. The share purchase is subject to regulatory approval. Closing of the acquisition of shares and the cooperation contract is expected within Q3 2014.