- First Solar bought Sweden's Evolar for up to $80 million.
- The company said the deal will accelerate developing the next generation of solar technology.
- The news sent First Solar shares soaring, and boosted other solar stocks.
First Solar (FSLR) was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 on Friday after the maker of solar panels bought Swedish solar thin film manufacturer Evolar for up to $80 million.
First Solar said that the initial price was approximately $38 million, with as much as an additional $42 million payable subject to certain technical milestones being reached.
The company indicated that the acquisition will accelerate the development of the next generation of photovoltaic (PV) technology, which CEO Mark Widmar said would speed up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “by allowing us to convert sunlight into clean electricity more efficiently.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but First Solar noted that Evolar’s lab in Uppsala, Sweden would continue to conduct research, giving First Solar its first R&D facility in Europe. Some 30 Evolar staffers will transition to First Solar and work in coordination with the company’s scientists at its advanced research technology center in Santa Clara, Calif., and development teams in Perrysburg, Ohio.
Shares of First Solar soared over 25% on the news, and helped lift shares of others in the solar power sector.