Major power and automation conglomerate, ABB has made its move to become the dominant PV inverter specialist with the planned acquisition of number two market leader, Power-One in an all cash transaction of approximately £675 million.

ABB cited the rapidly growing PV inverter market that rewards players that invest heavily in R&D and provide differentiated product offering as key aspects to its market sector thrust.

ABB's CEO, Joe Hogan said: “Solar PV is becoming a major force reshaping the future energy mix because it is rapidly closing in on grid parity. Power-One is a well-managed company and is highly regarded as a technology innovator focusing on the most attractive and intelligent solar PV product. The combination of Power-One and ABB is fully in line with our 2015 strategy and would create a global player with the scale to compete successfully and create value for customers, employees and shareholders.”

ABB noted that it expected to generate sales of more than US$100 million in the PV inverter market in 2013. ABB ranked sixth largest PV inverter supplier in 2013, by GTM Research, while Power-One was ranked second.

Power-One recently reported inverter shipments of 628MW in Q4 2012 and 3.6GW for the full-year, up 23% from 2011. Renewable Energy Solutions segment generated sales of US$123 million and an operating loss of US$8.5 million.

Power-One said in March 2013 that it had passed the 1 million unit milestone for inverters sales, resulting in an installed base of over 10GW.

Power-One had previously guided first quarter, 2013 revenue to be in the range of US$175 million to US$200 million. Increasingly, the PV market is shifting away from Europe and to emerging markets in Asia, notably China and Japan as well as the US, forcing companies to have a global market footprint to capitalise on growth opportunities.

“This transaction delivers significant value to our shareholders and will enable Power-One to accelerate its growth,” said Richard J. Thompson, CEO of Power-One. “Together we can better address the growing worldwide demand for innovative, renewable energy solutions and strengthen our global leadership. I believe ABB is the right partner and now is the ideal time for our companies to join forces.”