Xantrex's Inverters Are on the Block

Shares of power electronics maker Xantrex closed up 19 percent Wednesday after the power electronics maker announced that it’s in exclusive negotiations to be acquired. CleanBreak estimates that a deal for the Burnaby, British Columbia-based company, which makes solar power inverters, could be worth as much as $400 million.

CleanBreak isn’t surprised by the possibility of an acquisition, calling Xantrex “a success story that investors didn’t fully appreciate.” The company reported C$62 million in revenue in the first quarter, a 55 percent increase over the same period the year before. Xantrex is scheduled to report its second-quarter results at the end of the month.

Xantrex has recently inked $7.3 million worth of supply agreements. Just last week, it signed a deal to provide its inverters to solar energy provider Sun Edison over the next year that it says is worth some $5 million. Xantrex will also be supplying the mysterious and cash-laden OptiSolar with $1.9 million of inverters for that solar company’s planned 50-megawatt solar farm in Sarnia, Ontario, by the end of year.

The inverter is a weak link in a solar power system. While solar panels can last upwards of 20 years, the lifespan of inverters can hover around 10 years. But Xantrex isn’t alone in going after the power electronics market segment of solar. Enphase Energy raised $6.5 million at the start of the year and last month started selling its solar inverters. 1-Solar, a winner in last year’s California Clean Tech Open, specializes in solar inverters and the CEO and founder Tranh Nguyen told us back in February that he had a $5 million Series A round in the works and a $72 million sales deal lined up with a southern Californian customer.