GT acquires Missouri solar tech firm

GT Advanced Technologies has acquired Confluence Solar Inc., a three-year old privately held Missouri company, in an $80 million cash deal that will give the New Hampshire-based firm the technology to enable it to manufacture furnaces that more efficiently make solar cells.Confluence, based in Hazelwood, Mo., outside St. Louis, started in 2008 after landing a $12 million venture capital investment. But the company — after getting some initial tax credits from its home state — irked local officials by deciding to build a $200 million manufacturing facility in East Tennessee.GT, of Merrimack, N.H., was interested in Confluence’s continuously-fed Czochralski (CCz) growth technology, which enables the production of high-efficiency monocrystalline solar ingots. GT bought the Confluence for $60 million in cash, with an additional $20 million of cash earn-outs payable upon the achievement of certain financial and technical milestones through GT’s fiscal year 2013. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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