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Germany's Solarworld takes over Bosch's solar business

German company Solarworld has announced it's acquiring the complete solar business of Bosch. The takeover will result in the first German solar firm with a manufacturing capacity exceeding one gigawatt.

In the middle of a large-scale restructuring drive, Bonn-based Solarworldwent on the offensive Tuesday by announcing the takeover of Bosch's complete solar business, known as Bosch Solar Energy.

Solarworld said it would acquire a solar cell production unit and a module facility in Arnstadt in the eastern German state of Thuringia, and would employ 800 workers there. The company did not reveal any price for the transaction, to be completed by early next year.

Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner had put up the company's solar business up for sale in spring of this year after investing 530 million euros ($717 million) in the location to see the subsequent price collapseon global markets, burning about 2.4 billion euros in the process.

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Solarworld runs production facilities both in Germany and the US, where it has a base in Hillsboro, Oregon. The company emphasized the acquisition will see the emergence of the first German solar firm with a manufacturing capacity of over one gigawatt.

Together with the Arnstadt facilities, Solarworld will thus become the largest solar technology company in the western world.

CEO Frank Asbeck said he saw the move as a commitment to defend Germany's outstanding position in photovoltaic production, mentioning the company's high quality standards and its willingness to offer 25 to 30-year warranties for its products.

hg/dr (Reuters, dpa)

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