Calif. firm buys majority interest in GT Equipment

A Merrimack company once named to Deloitte & Touche’s “Fast 500” list of the fastest-growing technology companies in the country, has sold a majority interest to a private equity firm based in Los Angeles.

GT Equipment Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of turnkey manufacturing lines for wafers, cells and solar modules, announced Monday that it they sold the interest to GFI Energy Ventures LLC.

“We are very excited to be partnering with GFI,” said Dr. Kedar Gupta, co-founder and CEO of GT Equipment. “The GFI relationship gives us substantial added capacity, resources and expertise to support our Company’s response to expanding customer and market needs.”

Gupta said he and company president and COO Tom Zarrella will continue to lead GT, which will remain in Merrimack.

Demand for solar equipment has grown substantially since GT’s inception in 1994 and, according to Gupta, demand is growing at double-digit rates each year.

“As the basic economics of solar energy continue to become more attractive, we believe that solar energy penetration in homes and businesses worldwide will continue to accelerate, fueling the demand for GT’s PV products and services,” he said.

Richard Landers of GFI Energy Ventures expects the recent purchase to assist GT in meeting the growing demand for solar power.

“GT offers the only one-stop-shop for the design, construction and deployment of photovoltaic factories in the world,” he said. “We expect the market for solar equipment to continue its significant growth and believe GT, as a market leader, is well positioned to capitalize on this growth.”

Founded 12 years ago by Gupta and partner Jonathan Talbott on a $1,000 investment, GT grew to become one of Inc. magazine’s 100 fastest-growing small businesses in the country within three years by designing and manufacturing semi-custom and specialty equipment for the solar and materials processing industries.

Gupta last year won New Hampshire Business Review’s Business Excellence Award for Technology.

GFI is a private equity firm that has initiated and led over 45 investments in the energy sector over the past 10 years. It invests exclusively in businesses providing equipment, software, services and systems needed by utilities and other energy companies. — TRACIE STONE

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