Germany's Bosch buys Aleo to expand solar business

FRANKFURT Mon Aug 3, 2009 3:26pm IST

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FRANKFURT Aug 3 (Reuters) - Germany's Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL], the world's largest supplier of automotive parts, said it agreed to buy Aleo Solar (AS1Gn.DE), expanding further into the solar-energy industry. Bosch said on Monday it agreed to buy 39.43 percent of Aleo's shares for 46 million euros ($65.54 million) and aims to also purchase the remaining shares, in both cases for 9 euros apiece.

Based on outstanding shares the price would come to 117 million euros.

Shares in Aleo soared 32 percent to 8.95 euros at 0954 GMT.

Bosch, a privately held German engineering conglomerate with more then 45 billion euros in annual sales, last year diversified into the photovoltaics business by taking control of Ersol ES6G.DE for more than 1 billion euros.

Earlier this year it said it would spend 530 million euros on a new crystalline solar cells and modules factory at Ersol.

Solar-energy peer Solon SOOG.DE jumped 7.6 percent to 10.95 euros, after WestLB analysts wrote in a note that Solon represented another attractive target and as local traders said stock prices in the entire industry were due to benefit from takeover speculation.

"With the combination of Ersol and Aleo Solar, Bosch was able to control the total photovoltaics value chain," analysts at Steubing research said.

While Ersol offered access to silicon ingots -- used for computer chips -- wafers, solar cells and modules markets, Aleo adds modules, international distribution channels and access to installers, the analysts said.

Aleo generated sales of roughly 360 million euros last year, Bosch said.

In a separate statement, Bosch and Samsung SDI (006400.KS) said they would supply lithium-ion battery cells for BMW's (BMWG.DE) electric vehicle project due in the first half of the next decade.[ID:nL3141522] ($1=.7019 Euro) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Hans Peters)

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