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Enphase Energy, Inc., and SunPower Corporation, today announced a definitive agreement for Enphase to acquire SunPower’s microinverter business for $25 million in cash and 7.5 million shares of Enphase common stock. Key highlights of the acquisition include:

  • Advances AC Modules (ACM) as the future of residential solar
  • Enhances SunPower’s Equinox™ Home Solar System with a custom line of Enphase’s IQ microinverters for use with SunPower AC Modules
  • Enphase expects to add $60-$70 million annualized revenue in second half of 2019 at 33%-35% gross margin
  • Adds over 140 patents to Enphase’s strong IP portfolio
  • Expects to close by end of the third quarter of 2018 with initial IQ shipments in the fourth quarter
  • $25 million cash to be funded from Enphase’s balance sheet in two installments

“We are pleased to become the microinverter supplier for SunPower’s AC Modules,”

said Badri Kothandaraman, president and CEO of Enphase Energy. “The IQ 7XS 320W AC microinverter in an ACM strongly complements SunPower’s high efficiency solar cells, communication and racking to create a high performance, high quality and easy-to-use Equinox™ Home Solar System, providing exceptional value to homeowners, dealers and architects.”

IQ 7 is Enphase’s seventh-generation microinverter platform leading the industry with its software-defined architecture, broad regulatory compliance, advanced “Smart Grid” features, and a high fire safety rating. The IQ 7XS microinverter offers 97.5% CEC efficiency and was designed specifically for the SunPower’s X Series 96-cell PV modules with peak AC output power of 320W and a Maximum Power Point (MPP) tracking range of 53-64V.

“SunPower customers will continue to see the same quality, high performance that they see now as Enphase exclusively co-develops microinverters for our industry leading residential Equinox solar product,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “As a result of this strategic partnership, SunPower looks forward to benefitting from Enphase’s expertise, allowing us to continue containing costs, leveraging R&D support and helping streamline our business priorities.”

The transaction is expected to close at the end of the third quarter of 2018 subject to product qualification and other closing conditions under the definitive asset purchase agreement.

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Microchip Technology is more a microcontroller and mixed-signal and analog devices manufacturer. They decided to acquire Microsemi Corporation.

They found an agreement where Microchip Technology will acquire Microsemi’s shares at $68.78, which will represent a total of equity of $8.35 billion. Both companies are looking at building a common strategy, joining Microsemi’s position on Power devices and Power Electronics markets, and Microchip position in analog and control devices.

The terms of the agreement have already been accepted by both companies’ Board of Directors, but it still needs confirmation of validity from the authorities and acceptance from Microsemi’s stakeholders. It’s expected to close by the end of Q2 2018.

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Peregrine Semiconductor is a RF and Power management IC manufacturer. It’s part of Murata group. The name change comes with the company 30-year history. It serves as the semiconductor division of Murata. Peregrine Semiconductor is now to be called pSemi Corporation.

The new name comes with a new logo, here under and new website, to discover here.

Logo pSemi peregrine semiconductor murata

Delta, the world leader in SMPS Power Supplies, has realized an investment in GaNSystem. The Taiwanese manufacturer joins BMW iVentures together with several investment companies: BDC Capital, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, RockPort Capital and Tsing Capital.

This new investment is announced only a few days after Transphorm, GaNSystem’s direct competitor, has announced a new investment from Yaskawa. The later released a GaN based servo-motor a few weeks before that.

One may see here, a pattern between system makers from Japan (Yaskawa) and Taiwan (Delta) investing in next generation semiconductors in order to get hands on prototypes or secure a strategic position.

Today’s GaN market is ready to boost. It has been so for a 2 to 3 years now. TSMC has invested in a huge manufacturing platform to propose volume production services.

Transphorm has received a 15$ million investment from its long time partner Yaskawa Electric. The GaN for Power Electronics start-up was already linked to Transphorm. Yaskawa announced a few weeks ago a new series of Servo-motors using GaN devices from Transphorm.

Yaskawa’s investment gives again a little bit more room for Transphorm to develop its GaN devices business.

 

 

Some GaN power devices leaders and their finance ‘sources’ – (c) PntPower – Applications & Markets for GaN in Power Electronics 2016

 

Danfoss Power Solutions division is willing to extend their leading position on the market. They decided to acquire Visedo.

Visedo is a Finnish manufacturer of hybrid and electric drivetrains for electric vehicles in the marine industry, commercial and heavy-duty vehicles. They commercialize solutions within the 30kW to 2 000kW range.

This acquisition is in line with Danfoss’s strategy to stay on top of electrification trends and extend their positions horizontally, in the supply-chain.

This follows their investment on Silicon-Carbide in the US, in order to take a strong strategic position on future semiconductors.

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Powerex is a well-known supplier of Power devices for North America since 1986. They were created through the combination of the power semiconductor division of General Electric and Westinghouse electric corporation. Mitsubishi Electric acquired shares of the company. They made is their main sales partner for North and South America since then.

The 190 employees company proposes custom and standard power modules as well a customer specific assemblies. They are involved in all main markets of the Power Electronics industry.

The acquisition will be effective by January 2018. Mitsubishi Electric envisions to take a stronger position in North America’s automotive market, with the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle trend becoming stronger. They plan to become competitive and cut the strength Infineon has with the recent acquisition of International Rectifier.

Powerex will more than likely keep continue to operate under its name, and benefit from Mitsubishi Electric’s support.

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ABB announced that they acquire GE Industrial Solutions today. The acquisition is part of a plan to extend and rationalize the product and services line worldwide and in North America. ABB is betting on improving the margin of GE Industrial Solutions division. They also plan to optimise synergies between the different division.

GE IS is producing circuit breakers, UPS, low voltage systems, medium power switchgear, DC power systems together with Telecom and custom power supplies. About 60% of the division sales are in North America. It is headquarted in Atlanta, Georgia, and has 13 500 employees. ABB keeps going with its acquisition strategy. The plan is to strengthen its position in the US. Previous ABB acquisitions included Baldor or Power-One, among other companies.

Acquisition’s closing is expected H1 2018.

Source: Press Release

The fuse and protection systems maker Littelfuse has increased its investment in Silicon Carbide. They already took part in the SiC business by investing in Monolith Semiconductor in December 2015. They increased their participation in the start-up of $15M to become the major investor.

This move fully integrates with the company’s strategy to enter the semiconductor market. They secured more standard technology production by acquiring a part of  ON Semiconductor. More precisely, the new “TVS” and “IGBT” product lines of Littelfuse were the former diodes, thyristors and Automotive IGBT activities of ON Semiconductor. Littelfuse also planned to invest $30M in production facilities improvement.

With this new investment, Littelfuse can now be considered as part of the main power semiconductor manufacturers. The Silicon Carbide market, which took time to establish. It has been difficult to manufacture components in mass and to drag costs down. It is now beginning to be real. Littelfuse grabbed the opportunity to be part of the next generation power semiconductor market.

ON Semiconductor Corporation and Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. jointly announced today that ON Semiconductor has successfully completed its previously announced $2.4 billion cash acquisition of Fairchild.

“The acquisition of Fairchild is a transformative step in our quest to become the premier supplier of power management and analog semiconductor solutions for a wide range of applications and end-markets,” said Keith Jackson, president and CEO of ON Semiconductor. “Fairchild provides us a platform to aggressively expand our profitability in a highly fragmented industry. With the addition of Fairchild, our industry leading cost structure has further improved in a significant manner and we are now well positioned to generate substantial shareholder value as we integrate operations of the two companies.”

On September 16, 2016, ON Semiconductor received confirmation that clearance related to the completion of its proposed acquisition of Fairchild from the Ministry of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China had been obtained and that ON Semiconductor was entitled to close the transactions under PRC law. As such, the conditions to the acquisition of Fairchild relating to the termination or expiration of required waiting periods, and receipt of required approvals, under applicable antitrust laws were fully satisfied and ON Semiconductor’s tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Fairchild for $20.00 per share in cash (the “Offer”) expired as scheduled one minute following 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on September 16, 2016 and was not extended.

Computershare Trust Company, N.A., the depositary for the Offer, advised ON Semiconductor that at the time of the expiration of the Offer, approximately 87,979,761 shares of common stock of Fairchild (not including 7,327,977 shares tendered by notice of guaranteed delivery for which shares have not yet been delivered) were validly tendered and not properly withdrawn pursuant to the Offer, representing approximately 76.6% of the outstanding shares of common stock of Fairchild. In accordance with the terms of the Offer and the merger agreement, all such shares (and any additional shares tendered by guaranteed delivery unless actual delivery does not occur) were irrevocably accepted for payment, and paid for, earlier today.

Immediately following the payment for the tendered shares, ON Semiconductor and Fairchild completed the acquisition of Fairchild by merging it with a wholly owned subsidiary of ON Semiconductor pursuant to which all remaining Fairchild shares (other than shares directly owned by ON Semiconductor or Fairchild or their respective subsidiaries and shares held by stockholders that are entitled to and properly demand appraisal of such shares under Delaware law) were converted into the right to receive $20.00 per share in cash, without interest and less applicable withholding taxes – the same price that was paid in the tender offer. As a result of the Offer and the merger, Fairchild ceased to be a publicly traded company, its common stock will no longer be listed on NASDAQ, and Fairchild became a wholly owned subsidiary of ON Semiconductor.

The acquisition is expected to be accretive on a GAAP EPS basis in the second half of 2017 and immediately accretive on a non-GAAP basis. ON Semiconductor expects to achieve annual cost savings run rate of $160 million by the end of 2017, $200 million by the end of 2018, and $225 million by the end of 2019. The cost savings targets are based on Fairchild’s 2015 annual results.

ON Semiconductor today also announced a new organizational structure, which reflects the evolution over the years of ON Semiconductor’s product portfolio to highly differentiated power management, imaging, and analog solutions from standard products. The new organization is comprised of three reporting units – Power Solutions Group, headed by Bill Hall, Analog Solutions Group, headed by Bob Klosterboer, and Image Sensor Group, headed by Taner Ozcelik. The operations of System Solutions Group have been absorbed in the three reporting units.

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ON Semiconductor Corporation announced today that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has accepted a proposed consent order for public comment and has terminated the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period applicable to ON Semiconductor’s proposed acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. Under the proposed consent order and in order to satisfy the FTC’s remaining concerns, prior to the closing of the acquisition of Fairchild, the FTC required that ON Semiconductor dispose of its planar insulated gate bipolar transistor (“Ignition IGBT”) business, which business generated less than $25 million in revenue during fiscal year 2015. In satisfaction of this requirement, ON Semiconductor announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with respect to the divestiture of the Ignition IGBT business to Littelfuse, Inc. and has also entered into a separate definitive agreement with Littelfuse to sell its transient voltage suppression (“TVS”) diode and switching thyristor product lines, for a combined $104 million in cash. No manufacturing assets will be transferred by ON Semiconductor in connection with the divestiture of the Ignition IGBT business or the sale of the TVS and thyristor businesses, and both asset sales are expected to close on August 29, 2016.

ON Semiconductor acquisitions conditions Fairchild Littelfuse

The completion of ON Semiconductor’s previously announced tender offer (the “Offer”) to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Fairchild for $20.00 per share in cash remains subject to certain customary terms and conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase, dated December 4, 2015, as amended (the “Offer to Purchase”), and other related materials by which the Offer is being made.

The condition to the Offer relating to the termination or expiration of required waiting periods under the HSR Act has been satisfied. The proposed FTC consent order is subject to public comment for 30 days and to final approval by the FTC, although this will not affect the parties’ ability to close the transaction when all other conditions to closing have been satisfied.

After Cars, Energy storage, Solar: What future for ‘Tesla Group’?

You could not have missed this last news : Tesla announced their willingness to acquire SolarCity. We already presented our analysis of a series of news from the Electric car world, where Tesla first, then several other main competitors released their plan to offer home batteries. Now Tesla is entering in the solar energy business. What’s at stake ?

Tesla is, at first, an electric car manufacturer. That’s a fact. But as a part of their strategy, they are currently building what they call their « Gigafactory ». A manufacturing site for Lithium-Ion battery able to reach up to 85GWh of packs or cells per year, by 2020. Panasonic partnered with Tesla to do so. They invested tens of billions of yen (1.5 to 3 billion USD) in the project ; which should be completed next year.

Elon Musk also revealed the Powerwall last year. It’s already available in the US. The idea is to reuse old Tesla car batteries and refurbish them to use it as a home storage system. Audi, BMW, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz now have the same plan…

Back then, when only Tesla and Mercedes-Benz had made their announcement, we released our analysis to our readers. The theory was to make a parallel between mass transportation vehicle companies and personal transportation vehicle companies. Alstom, Siemens, Bombardier, General Electric are all trains and tramway makers. Their main activity is to make transportation systems, but they also provide energy production systems through alternators or steam turbines, and also renewable energy systems. They also help transport electricity by making grid and T&D conversion systems. Just looking at the last Alstom division says it all: Alstom Transport, Alstom Grid, Alstom Energy. This happened because the core requirement to build these systems is mastering power electronics. Energy’s core competency is power electronics. So these guys, mastering Megawatt range power electronics, developed all the surrounding businesses they could.

Electric car industry moving to energy storage and production

Now let’s look closer to lower power electronics. Tesla is making electric cars, which is a small transportation system, and uses one of the core needs for that: power electronics (plus battery). They could use the same batteries and power electronics for other things: store energy at home (Tesla PowerWall), produce energy (SolarCity), propose new ways to consume energy…

That’s what is currently happening. All car makers are taking steps into storing and producing energy at home. Why car makers? They are the only ones which will produce power electronics systems at such high volumes in the future. None of the other power electronics system makers like PV inverter makers, UPS, motor drive makers or any other, can announce a production of 500,000 units/year as Elon Musk did about Tesla.

We shared this theory because we want to have your feedback about it. So share your thoughts and make us all go forward! What do you think is next for Tesla and the other car makers?