Maxeon Solar to acquire Complete Solaria’s dealer channel, shingled cell PV patents

solar industry deal

Maxeon Solar Technologies is starting to diversify its solar business in the United States beyond SunPower. The premium solar panel provider is set to purchase assets from Complete Solaria’s subsidiary, SolarCA LLC, including Solaria’s dealer channel operations and contracts, as well as Complete Solaria’s solar panel patent portfolio relating primarily to shingled cell solar panel technology.

The agreement also includes a supply agreement for Maxeon to supply its solar panels to Complete Solaria. “The deal was all stock worth $20 million at Maxeon’s current share price,” according to a ROTH Capital industry note.

Complete Solaria, headquartered in California, was founded on core PV cell technology that comprised one of the best residential PV module options on the market. After a merger with Complete Solar, the company went public and evolved into a solar company with an end-to-end customer offering that includes financing, project fulfilment and customer service. Complete Solaria’s digital platform enables one-stop service.

What this means for Maxeon | Maxeon’s CEO Bill Mulligan expects that this transaction will expand its distributed generation footprint in the U.S. market in two ways:

“First, incorporation of Solaria’s nationwide dealer channel will inject infrastructure, capabilities and reach that should meaningfully accelerate our direct sales efforts,” he says. “Second, this transaction enables immediate access to a qualified source of tariff-free solar panels that we plan to market adjacent to our flagship IBC solar panels, allowing us to replicate in the US market the “better-best” product strategy we have successfully employed in our international markets for years.”

This transaction also allows Maxeon to consolidate two major shingled-cell IP portfolios. This deal adds to the over 130 granted patents and over 80 pending patent applications for fundamental shingled solar cell panel technology that Maxeon designs and manufactures globally.

Maxeon plans to use this new IP in its upcoming cell and module manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

With this deal, Maxeon now owns the two primary pioneers in the shingled cell space, Solaria and Cogenra.

“We believe this is a positive move by the company because it significantly strengthens the IP of the technology that is expected to be used in the coming New Mexico facility,” says Philip Shen with ROTH Capital. “The deal also accelerates the growth of Maxeon’s US dealer channel and effectively helps with its diversification efforts away from SunPower.”

The major risk for Maxeon in his estimation is “the rapid decline of premium module pricing.”

As for Complete Solaria, CEO Will Anderson says: “This transaction will provide Complete Solaria with capital to optimize our end-to-end customer offering, including beautiful, high-quality solar energy systems with Maxeon premium, high performance solar panels. Concentrating on our core systems segment will benefit both our business and our shareholders.”

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