Sat, Apr 19, 2014 17:25
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SK Group and HelioVolt Corporation Form Investment and Global Expansion Alliance

Texas Business reports:  SEOUL, Korea & AUSTIN, Texas—SK TIC and SK Innovation, members of the SK Group, Korea's energy, chemicals and telecommunications giant, and HelioVolt Corporation, an Austin-based manufacturer of high-efficiency thin-film photovoltaic modules, reached an agreement to collaborate on technology development and global manufacturing expansion.

The SK Group has invested $50 million to expand HelioVolt Austin's manufacturing operations and has begun collaboration to develop HelioVolt's global capabilities.

“We believe in the value of long-term investing in alternative energy and are happy to be able to leverage SK leadership across our many complementary industries in order to create an outstanding global partnership with the HelioVolt team,” said S. H. Park, chief executive of SK TIC in a prepared statement.

“SK's technical and engineering expertise will provide HelioVolt with tremendous market, manufacturing and supply chain access,” said D. S. Kim, SK Innovation's chief technical officer.

HelioVolt's significant technical progress and rapid module cost reduction are providing SK, through this partnership, an opportunity to play an important role in the rapidly growing global renewable energy market.

“The solar energy market is going through a transition period--one that is creating unprecedented opportunities for world-class leadership,” said  B. J. Stanbery, HelioVolt's chairman. “We welcome SK's manufacturing, engineering and operational expertise in order to accelerate commercialization of our technology and business expansion to deliver the most cost-effective and efficient solar power.”

In connection with the transaction, Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as exclusive placement agent to HelioVolt.

SK Group, Korea's third largest conglomerate, covers a broad spectrum of businesses through its 75 subsidiaries and affiliate companies which share the SK brand and culture.

HelioVolt Corporation, based in Austin, Texas, is a manufacturer of high-efficiency thin-film solar modules for the commercial rooftop and utility markets.  HelioVolt has raised over $200 million to fund the company's move to volume production and international ex