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SunPower to acquire SunRay for $277 million

U.S. maker of high-efficiency solar panels to inherit over 1,200 megawatts of projects in Europe and Israel.

A rooftop solar installation from SunPower at Del Monte Foods in Kingsburg, Calif.

U.S. solar-panel manufacturer SunPower has signed an agreement to acquire SunRay Renewable Energy and its existing solar projects for $277 million, both companies announced Thursday.

The maker of high-efficiency solar panels said approximately $235 million of the deal will be in cash, which SunPower announced it already has in hand, forgoing the need to raise equity capital to finance the deal. The remaining $42 million will be in the form of credit and promissory notes.

SunRay, a European solar-power company, might be best known for its completion in November of the 24-megawatt Montalto di Castro solar-photovoltaic power plant, the largest solar plant in Italy at the time it opened. SunRay partnered with SunPower on the project, which consists of 78,720 of SunPower's high-efficiency solar panels and now supplies enough energy to power 13,000 homes, according to SunRay.

As part of the $277 million agreement, SunPower will acquire 1,200 megawatts worth of solar-photovoltaic projects, including those in early-stage development, in France, Greece, Italy, Israel, Spain, and the UK.

Aside from giving it a stronghold in Europe, SunPower said it anticipates the acquisition of SunRay will aid the company in its continual expansion in North America as well. The company announced it expects the deal to be complete by the middle of 2010 and will provide details of the transaction at its upcoming earnings report in March.