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Bosch announces takeover offer for two solar firms

Two German solar module makers have received takeover offers from the Bosch Group, as part of its plans to boost its photovoltaic and renewable energy businesses.
Bosch announces takeover offer for two solar firms
Key shareholders holding almost 40% of Aleo Solar AG's share capital have signed agreements to sell their shares to the group's business Robert Bosch, which has valued the solar module maker at £98.3m (117 million euros).

Aleo Solar manufactures solar modules using silicon cells. It also provides whole solar systems to the global photovoltaic market. It has manufacturing facilities in Prenzlau in Germany and two more production sites in Spain and China.

Bosch intends to submit a suitable voluntary public takeover offer to the shareholders of Aleo Solar AG with the aim of acquiring the its remaining shares in connection with its acquisition of 39.43% of aleo solar AG shares.

Founded in 2001, the Aleo Solar group currently employs 735 staff. The company generated revenue of EUR 360.5 million in 2008.

Co-founder and chairman of the supervisory board of Aleo Solar , Marius Eriksen said: 'This confirms the strategy we've been pursuing for years. Bosch's decision to continue expanding the Prenzlau production site, as well as the Oldenburg location for both the German and international sales organization and marketing, under the present management, constitutes a special recognition of the performance of all our employees and management board members.

Bosch intends to acquire from the Eriksen Group and related investors more than 60% of the shares in Johanna Solar Technology GmbH in which Aleo also holds a 17% stake. Aleo Solar will no longer pursue its plan to purchase additional shares in Johanna.

Johanna started developing solar modules based on thin-film CIGS cells in 2006, going into production at the end of 2008. These thin-film modules are marketed by Aleo. Johanna employs 125 workers.

With brand names that include Worcester Bosch and Buderus, the Bosch Group acquired photovoltaic specialist ersol Solar Energy AG in June 2008.

“With this acquisition, we are boosting our position in photovoltaics and renewable energies. Together with the management and associates of aleo and Johanna, and in combination with the team at our subsidiary ersol, we see good opportunities to expand significantly in this promising field,” said Dr. Siegfried Dais, deputy chairman of the Bosch board of management with responsibility for the Solar Energy division.

The Bosch group owns Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies, including Bosch Thermotechnik, a supplier of electrical heat pumps and solar collectors for hot-water generation.
5 August 2009

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