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July 29, 2017

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Cross-strait solar firms seek tie-ups: report

TAIPEI -- Solar energy firms across the Taiwan Strait are seeking opportunities for partnership in an effort to deal with a supply glut, a research report said yesterday.

In the report, Taiwan-based market information advisory firm TrendForce said some solar energy companies from Taiwan and China have been contacting each other on the possibility of mergers and acquisitions.

The move toward consolidation has become more obvious since Nov. 19 when Taiwanese solar cell supplier Neo Solar Power Corp. (NSP) tendered an offer to acquire a 13-15 percent stake in a smaller rival DelSolar Co. Ltd. between Nov. 20 and Dec. 14.

When the tender offer is completed, NSP will take the next step to acquire the rest of DelSolar shares, creating the biggest solar cell maker in Taiwan and the second largest in the world.

Motech Industries Co. Ltd., another Taiwan-based solar cell maker, said it plans to raise US$130 million through overseas bond sales. Market analyst said the company would probably use the funds from the bond sale to make an acquisition.

Meanwhile, TrendForce said, Chinese solar energy firms are looking at their counterparts in Taiwan as the first preference for possible acquisitions. The Chinese companies are seeking to cushion the impact of China's anti-dumping disputes with the United States and Europe, the market analyst said.

Earlier this month, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) issued a final decision to impose anti-dumping tariffs of up to 250 percent on Chinese solar energy firms after it found that Chinese exporters were responsible for damaging that particular U.S. industry.

In September, the European Union has also launched an investigation into alleged dumping activities by Chinese solar energy product exporters.

The trade disputes have prompted buyers in the U.S. and Europe to shift their orders from China to other suppliers, such as Taiwan.

TrendForce said Chinese solar firms are aiming to acquire Taiwanese companies to avoid financial penalties from the U.S. and Europe, while Taiwanese firms want to acquire others to expand production and lower costs.

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