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Ascent Solar Surges on Chinese Partnership

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted August 15, 2011

The Chinese solar market is expanding rapidly as electricity demand grows in the midst of national development.

As Kleinwort Benson Investors told Reuters, they expect that in the next 3 years China will become the world’s largest solar market.

So solar companies are looking for partnerships and deals in China.

And for one Thornton, Colorado-based company, this meant gains well over 50%.

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: ASTI) announced a deal with China’s TFG Radiant Group, a joint venture of China’s Radiant Group and Singapore’s Tertius Financial Group.

On Monday, Ascent announced a sale of 6.4 million shares, around a fifth of its ownership, to TFG at the price of $1.15 per share, a 56% premium over Friday’s close, says Reuters.

The deal includes a plan to set up manufacturing facilities across the 8 nations of East Asia, and it is worth approximately $450 million.

TFG already plans to invest $165 million in the first facility, a photovoltaic module manufacturing plant located in China.

The plant will have an initial production capacity of 100 megawatts per year.

TFG will also have the option of purchasing an additional 9.5 million shares at the price of $1.55 per share.

This has created big gains for Ascent, a company that saw major losses in 2011.

Money issues caused the company to cut its workforce nearly in half and to decrease spending, causing a drop in value of 64%.

The company produces photovoltaic cells, specializing in a flexible photovoltaic module.

According to the agreement, TFG will receive licensing for Ascent’s technology for East Asian nations.

Ascent will maintain partial ownership of the facilities constructed from the agreement, and the company will receive royalties on sales.

It will also receive milestone payments for goals met, worth around $250 million or more over several years, reports Reuters.

At 12:30pm on Monday, shares of Ascent surged 65.62% to $1.22.

That’s all for now,


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