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Thursday, 1 March 2012

EDF Acquires Photowatt, French Pioneer Of Solar Energy


The Commercial Court of Vienna (Isère) confirmed Monday the takeover bid by EDF Photowatt. This avoids the liquidation of the only French manufacturer of photovoltaic cells.

It was a happy ending for the employees of Photowatt. The Commercial Court of Vienna, near Grenoble, has selected the offer presented by EDF on Monday that aims to maintain the activity of this company as it is.

Of the 425 people currently employed by Photowatt, EDF offers to 345 employees and over 10 apprentices to continue their activity in the company. The other 70 will be offered redeployment within the EDF Group.

"This operation is part of the Group's strategy to be a leader in renewable energy, including photovoltaics, thereby contributing to the development of better technologies," said EDF in a statement.

Photowatt was placed in receivership after filing for bankruptcy in November. The sole French manufacturer of photovoltaic cells has undergone in recent years the rise of Chinese manufacturers. In 2011, the decrease in tariffs for solar electricity in France has exacerbated the difficulties of SMEs, which showed a net loss of 80 million euros.

EDF has agreed to inject 75 million euros as part of the recovery of the company. "This transaction will enable the Group, through its subsidiary EDF, to take over the assets of Photowatt and 100% of its subsidiary PV Alliance2 and get an exclusive worldwide license to the heterojunction technology, currently under development, "said the electrician in a statement.

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