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India’s first and only solar glass manufacturer Borosil Renewables Limited (BRL), and the Interfloat group of companies (based in the European Union) has announced the BRL’s acquisition of 86% stake in the Interfloat Group, through its overseas wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Interfloat Group consists of two companies – GMB Glasmanufaktur Brandenburg GmbH (GMB), based in Tschernitz, Germany, and Interfloat Corporation, based in Liechtenstein. GMB is the largest producer of textured tempered solar glass in Europe with a current manufacturing capacity of 300 TPD. It has manufactured glass for Europe’s solar (solar PV as well as solar thermal) and greenhouse glass markets since 2008. Interfloat has been servicing customers in Europe for close to 40 years and has deep-rooted relationships with the glass trade in the region. Interfloat group boasts of highly skilled manpower that has helped establish them as a leader in the European market for solar glass.
In spite of the fact that the manufacturing industry in Europe is experiencing severe stress currently owing to high energy prices, geopolitical uncertainty as well as a potential upcoming recession, BRL’s board believes that the position that Interfloat/GMB commands as a highquality producer of solar glass should strengthen BRL’s global market position in the long run.
Under the “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” program, the European Union (EU) foresees a manifold increase in the domestic European production of solar photovoltaic modules and the entire range of components. The EU solar energy strategy proposed under the REPowerEU plan aims to make solar energy a cornerstone of the EU energy system and includes a solar energy strategy that aims to bring about 320 GW of solar photovoltaic by 2025 (i.e. double the current solar PV capacity) and almost 600 GW by 2030. The European solar Industry also envisions 20 GW of PV production in Europe by 2025, covering the entire value chain, from polysilicon to modules. This will inevitably lead to rapid growth in demand for solar glass across Europe in the near future. The customers of solar glass are expected to be looking for the availability of higher volumes from a diversified and reliable supply chain with domestic roots. This is especially true after the unpleasant shocks faced due to ongoing disruptions in the existing supply chain impacting the availability of critical components like solar glass.
It is BRL’s intention to strengthen the market leadership established by Interfloat by meeting the ever-evolving demands of its European customers more efficiently. With this acquisition, BRL’s combined manufacturing capacity in India and Europe would be available to meet a wide range of requirements including sizes varying textures, coatings, dimensions, and thickness. This acquisition will also accelerate investments in new products and technology development benefiting customers.
The BRL’s expansion that is currently underway in India will take the manufacturing capacity to 1000 TPD in Q4 CY2022. BRL plans to add further capacity with the next expansion growing to 2,100 TPD in CY2024. Furthermore, Borosil is committed to investing in manufacturing in Europe and will be increasing capacity at GMB’s Tschernitz plant at an appropriate time in the near future. This means that BRL and Interfloat will be able to supply significantly higher volumes of solar glass to their present and new customers by improving the serviceability as a result of the production from two locations now.
Pradeep Kheruka, Executive Chairman of Borosil Renewables Ltd., said, “The extreme crisis now being faced not only in Europe but across the world from sudden disruption in the supply of natural gas has given great impetus to the urgent requirement for solar installations. The demand for domestically manufactured solar PV modules has increased significantly leading to a higher demand for solar glass by our European customers. In the light of substantial expansion in our capacity in India, we expect to enhance the reliability of our supply chains for our customers. We believe that by leveraging the existing synergies and several complementary skill sets offered by the two companies, we will be able to serve our customers better. We continue to strongly believe that this acquisition moves us closer to our vision of being the most customer-centric company in the world.”
Christian Kern, Member of the Board of Directors of Interfloat Corporation and former Austrian chancellor: “Borosil Renewables, a worldwide innovation leader with a focus on green production of solar glass panels, is a huge gain for Interfloat and the production in Brandenburg. In such difficult times, when the European industry suffers from soaring gas prices, a strong international partner will ensure continuity in the European production of clean energy.” By the explicit wish of Borosil, Mr. Kern will remain on the Board of Interfloat. Blue Minds group continues to remain a 14% shareholder in the Interfloat group.
For this transaction, Lincoln International was the financial advisor, with Khaitan & Co. and DLA Piper as the legal advisors to Borosil Renewables Limited.