From pv magazine International.
Italian inverter manufacturer Fimer, which has completed its acquisition of the ABB inverter business, has confirmed it will retain its manufacturing facilities in India as well as all staff.
In announcing completion of the acquisition process started in July, the Italian company stated: “Fimer’s commitment is to continue to create value and maintain existing facilities as well as employment levels. Investment in research and development are of key importance. As a result, Fimer decided to maintain both the R&D hub in Finland and manufacturing plants Italy and India.”
The transaction has transferred all of ABB’s manufacturing and R&D sites in Finland, India and Italy and 800 employees in 26 different countries. The buyer still has not announced the full cost of the deal and ABB also failed to do so in its July financials. The Swiss company did, however, admit it would shoulder six-year costs of around $430 million (Rs3,110 crore) in relation to the transaction, connected to product warranty provisions. ABB also said it expected ‘separation costs’ of $40 million as a result of the deal.
The new owner said ABB’s inverter business generated around €340 million (Rs2,730 crore) in revenue last year.
The plants added as part of the acquisition will augment the inverter manufacturing facility Fimer owns in Vimercate, in the province of Monza and Brianza, in Lombardy, northern Italy. The combined business now has around 1,100 employees.
A global player
The Italian manufacturer said the transaction made it the world’s fourth largest inverter provider. The combined business expects to ship more than 7 GW of inverters this year, according to Fimer, which did not mention the fact coronavirus-hit Italy has registered more cases of the virus in Lombardy than in any other Italian region.
ABB products will feature the Swiss brand for the time being. “Following the acquisition and integration of ABB’s solar inverter business in the first quarter of 2020, and under the umbrella of the renewed Fimer brand, the newly acquired solar inverter portfolio continues to carry the ABB brand under the trademark license agreement,” the Italian company stated.
In September, Fimer and ABB replied to an open letter published by trade body the U.K. Solar Trade Association which was critical of the Swiss brand’s products and customer service. The U.K. organization said some its members feared the impending takeover of ABB’s inverter business by Fimer would make enforcing warranty claims more difficult and remarked on what members described as poor customer service.
At the time, ABB said it had taken the necessary steps to ensure the situation would be properly managed and it was in close contact with all affected customers to resolve pending matters. Fimer told pv magazine it would take charge of issues raised by the U.K. trade body before the transfer of the inverter business was finalized.
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