Deal Watch: Solar panel firm XsunX bags $10 million deal


sun.pngWith its January landing of a two-year, $10 million deal with an undisclosed Oregon commercial developer, thin-film solar panel company XsunX now has nearly $50 million worth of contracts lined up and ready to go.

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sun.pngWith its January landing of a two-year, $10 million deal with an undisclosed Oregon commercial developer, thin-film solar panel company XsunX now has nearly $50 million worth of contracts lined up and ready to go.

Not bad considering the California public company hasn’t even kicked off production at its Wood Village facility.

But according to president and CEO Tom Djokovich, despite the mired credit markets and a prolonged process to secure a $20 million state Business Energy Tax Credit, XsunX will crest the horizon this year.

“Our focus is 100% tied to the completion of our factory and to begin production and shipment in calendar 2009,” he says.  

The company chose Oregon not only for its relatively cheap power and sought-after quality of life, but also for the state’s generous tax credit for renewable energy companies. Qualified projects can get a credit worth up to 50% of the project’s cost.

Djokovich says XsunX applied for the credit in September 2007 and has been working with the state — and waiting — ever since.  

In the meantime, the company has been busy refurbishing its 90,000-square-foot facility in Wood Village, the former home of circuit-board manufacturer Merix. Djokovich says XsunX has conducted job interviews and filled a few key positions, and officials have been working with Mount Hood Community College to establish training programs for prospective workers. When the plant is fully online, it will employ 160 people in the manufacture of thin-film solar panels, which will then be sold to suppliers in the residential, commercial and utility sectors.

XsunX’s long-term plans include expanding manufacturing capacity — the firm is already eyeballing a building in Gresham — and hopping on what Djokovich calls “a freight train of opportunity” in the solar world.

“In terms of how the business side deploys, there’s lots of opportunity,” he says. “There’s not even enough time to go over all that.”       JON BELL

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
PRICEEXP. CLOSEBUYER / PARENT (HQ)SELLER / PARENT (HQ)ANNOUNCED
$2.8MQ1FEI/HillsboroIntellection Holdings (Australia)1/6
NDQ1Clear Choice Health Plans (Bend)Trusted Plans Service (WA)1/5
NDQ1Innovative Medical Device Solutions (UT)Cencast (Molalla)1/26
NDQ1KPD Insurance (Springfield)Jones Kendall Sauer (Portland)1/5
NDQ1Mentor Graphics (Wilsonville)Agility Design Solutions (CA)1/23
NDQ1CS Software Holdings (NY)CoolSign Digital/Planar Systems (Beaverton)1/6
$186MQ1Umpqua Bank/Umpqua Holdings (Portland)Bank of Clark County (Vancouver)1/19
NDQ1Yakima (Beaverton)Rack and Roll (MD)1/19
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
PRICEBUYER / PARENT (HQ)REAL ESTATE (LOCATION) / SELLER (HQ)ANNOUNCED
$12.5MManchester Capital Management (VT)Spalding Building (Portland)/Felton Properties (Portland)1/26
$8.5MTriangle Pointe (Beaverton)96,800 sq. feet office (Tigard)/FIG Holdings (CA)1/7
$7.4MTCTPI (Portland)Tigard Central Industrial Park (Tigard)/Jempak Partners (Portland)1/19
$3.95MCooper’s Chase (Beaverton)Glacier Vista Apartments (Redmond)/Glacier Vista (Bend)1/19
$2MMRD properties (Lake Oswego)28,200 sq. feet office (Beaverton)/Pacific Northwest Properties (Portland)1/8
$1MU.S. Bureau of Land Management (Wash., DC)890 acres (Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument)/Pacific Forest Trust (CA)1/20
CAPITAL RAISING
PRICE (TYPE)COMPANY (HQ) / LEADERSHIPINVESTOR (HQ)ANNOUNCED
$5B (energy contract)McKinstry (WA)/Dean AllenU.S. Dept. of Energy1/9
$19.6M (foreclosure acquisition funds)Oregon Dept. of Housing and Community ServicesU.S. Housing and Urban Development1/20
$16.5M (investment round)AVI Biopharma (Portland)/Leslie HudsonEastbourne Capital Management (CA)1/30
$10.7M (equity financing)nLight (Vancouver)/Scott KeeneyOak Investment Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Menlo Ventures (all CA)1/26
$10M (solar module contract)XsunX (CA)/Tom DjokovichND1/14
$9.6M (private placement stock sale)Pacific Continental (Eugene)/Hal BrownPrivate investor(s)1/7
$5M (gift)Willamette University/M. Lee PeltonPenelope Parks Knight and Philip Knight/Portland1/22
$2.5M (venture round)AboutUs (Portland)/Ray KingVoyager Capital (WA)1/9
$1.9M (job-training grant for laid-off Hyinx Semiconductor workers)Oregon Dept. of Community Colleges and Workforce Dev.U.S. Dept. of Labor1/14
$1.3M (disaster relief grant)Mercy Corps (Portland)/Neal Keny-GuyerBritish Dept. of International Development1/28
$1M (airport improvement grant)City of SalemFederal Aviation Administration (Wash., D.C.)1/20

List researched by Jon Bell

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