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SunPower to acquire AUO's stake in Malaysian solar cell venture

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SunPower Corp will pay US$170 million for AU Optronics Corp's portion of the two companies' solar cell making venture at an 800-megawatt fabrication facility in Melaka, Malaysia.

[TOKYO] SunPower Corp will pay US$170 million for AU Optronics Corp's portion of the two companies' solar cell making venture at an 800-megawatt fabrication facility in Melaka, Malaysia.

SunPower will make the purchase over the next four years under a stock buying agreement, San Jose, California-based SunPower said in a statement Monday.

It has also signed an agreement to supply 100 megawatts of its E-series solar panels to AUO.

AUO will remain a wafer supplier, SunPower said in the statement, adding that the transaction resolves a dispute between the two companies.

"Acquiring AUO's stake in the Malaysian joint venture gives us sole control over our highest-performing solar cell fab and will allow for technology upgrades and further expansion of our high-efficiency solar cell technology as market conditions warrant," Tom Werner, SunPower president and chief executive, said in the statement.

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SunPower said in August that it scrapped a target to at least break even this year.

The company has said it will close a Philippine panel-assembly facility and will transfer the equipment to Mexico, cutting 15 per cent of the overall workforce, or 1,200 employees, in the process.

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