Hanwha solar affiliates to strategically merge

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Hanwha solar affiliates to strategically merge

Hanwha Advanced Materials will merge with solar cell manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells Korea, the cell maker said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

According to Hanwha Group, the merger is intended to simplify the governance structure of its solar business affiliates. By grouping scattered solar-related affiliates together, the group expects to increase business efficiency.

Hanwha Chemical will control both solar-related companies. Auto and solar materials maker Hanwha Advanced Materials is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the chemical company. The merger is scheduled to be finalized by the end of next month, the filing said.

The materials company will purchase shares from three major shareholders of Hanwha Q Cells Korea. Hanwha General Chemical currently holds 50.15 percent of the shares, Hanwha Corporation holds a 20.44 percent stake and H-Solution owns 9.97 percent. While Hanwha Advanced Materials has focused on the automotive materials business until now, the materials company said the merger will bolster its solar business, which is one of Hanwha Group’s future growth engines.

Hanwha Q Cells Korea is different from Hanwha Q Cells, one of the world’s largest solar cell and module manufacturers. Hanwha Q Cells is listed in the United States Nasdaq. Hanwha Q Cells Korea supplies solar modules to Hanwha Q Cells.

Industry insiders say Hanwha Chemical will lead the solar business within the group, using two merged entities dedicated to its solar business.

Hanwha Chemical announced last month that it intends to merge Hanwha Solar Holdings and Hanwha Q Cells. The chemical unit owns a full stake in Hanwha Solar Holdings, which owns a 94 percent stake in the Nasdaq-listed solar module maker. Hanwha had said protectionist policies in the United States made it difficult for a foreign solar company to attract investment.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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