Wacker Chemie AG exits from the solar wafer business and will transfer its shares in its joint venture WACKER SCHOTT Solar GmbH (WSS) to its former partner SCHOTT Solar AG. WACKER and SCHOTT Solar have reached agreement on the key points of a sales transaction today. The reason for this move is WACKER's decision to focus its solar activities from now on exclusively on its core competency which is the production of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon. SCHOTT Solar, on the other hand, concentrates on the downstream side of the photovoltaic value chain, the manufacturing of solar cells and modules. Already in the past, SCHOTT Solar has absorbed the major part of WSS's wafer production.
In the context of this transaction, WACKER will perform its respective duties as a shareholder and will support WSS with a variety of measures. All in all, Wacker Chemie AG is expecting from its share in WSS a non-recurring negative impact on pre-tax profit of about €50 million as well as an increase in financial debt of some €65 million. The corresponding financial precautions will be appropriately recorded in the company's financial statements for Q3 2009.
“Focusing on hyperpure polysilicon production provides an excellent base for our long-term competitiveness and profitability”, says WACKER Group's CEO Rudolf Staudigl. “In this field, we can play out our technology leadership and our strong market position with maximum impact.”
WACKER is currently the world's second largest supplier of polysilicon for the solar and semiconductor industries and has under way an extensive investment program for the expansion of its production capacities.