By James A. Loyola
AC Industrial Technology Holdings, Inc. (AC Industrials), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, has acquired a controlling stake in US-based solar power solutions firm Merlin Solar Technologies, Inc.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Ayala said the transaction was done through AC Industrials’ subsidiary, ACI Solar Holdings NA, which had previously made a minority investment in Merlin in 2016.
AC Industrials will have an ownership interest of 78.2 percent in Merlin after the transaction and completion of other related activities.
Merlin is an emerging company that is developing differentiated solar solutions resulting in products with high durability, flexibility, and increased solar power output, allowing for potentially innovative applications in areas with demanding environments, such as transportation and infrastructure.
Headquartered in San Jose, California, Merlin currently has additional manufacturing facilities in Thailand. Moving forward, Merlin shall also be establishing a manufacturing presence in the Philippines through Integrated Microelectronics, Inc., a subsidiary of AC Industrials. This investment forms part of Ayala’s strategy, through AC Industrials, to boost its presence in the global and domestic industrial technologies spaces by capitalizing on opportunities arising from disruptive technological shifts, changing industry landscapes, and increasing demand from end-users.
“At Ayala, we believe that the future will be shaped by the innovation we are seeing today. We are excited to have the opportunity to add Merlin’s solar technology to our portfolio,” said Ayala Corporation and AC Industrials Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
He noted that, “the proprietary solar solutions that Merlin brings to the table are key to AC Industrials’ strategy of working on disruptive technologies, and aligns with the Ayala group’s drive to invest in emerging, innovative spaces, such as in e-commerce and fintech.”
“In addition, Merlin is highly complementary to various Ayala businesses, such as the renewable energy generation under AC Energy. We strongly believe that Merlin’s solar technology has the potential to profoundly impact people’s lives in the coming years,” Zobel added.
AC Industrials CEO Arthur Tan said “the acquisition of Merlin forms part of AC Industrials’ strategy to own, develop, and commercialize disruptive technologies in rapidly-transforming industries.”
Tan said “Merlin’s patent and IP portfolio allows a differentiated value proposition in solar which, when combined with AC Industrials’ core strength of providing manufacturing scale through IMI’s global platform, will provide AC Industrials with the opportunity to disrupt the solar energy industry.”