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Ayala Corporation

Ayala unit takes control of US-based Merlin Solar

A SUBSIDIARY of Ayala Corp. acquired a majority stake in a manufacturer of innovative solar solutions that will enable the conglomerate to bolster its global manufacturing presence and put the company in a position to disrupt the solar energy industry.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the Ayala group said AC Industrial Technology Holdings, Inc. purchased a controlling stake in Merlin Solar Technologies, Inc. where the group made a minority investment in 2016.

AC Industrials, through subsidiary ACI Solar Holdings NA, will own 78.2% of Merlin after the transaction and completion of other related activities.

ACI Solar held an 8.2% interest in Merlin prior to the transaction, according to regulatory filings.

Based in San Jose, California, Merlin is developing products with high durability, flexibility, and increased solar power output using differentiated solar solutions.

This will allow AC Industrials to produce potentially innovative applications in areas with demanding environments, such as transportation and infrastructure — areas of investment of the Ayala group.

Merlin has manufacturing facilities in Thailand and the company plans to expand in the Philippines through Integrated Microelectronics, Inc. (IMI), a subsidiary of AC Industrials.

The acquisition is in line with the Ayala group’s strategy to “boost its presence in the global and domestic industrial technologies spaces by capitalizing on opportunities arising from disruptive technological shifts, changing industry landscapes, and increasing demand from end-users.”

AC Industrials Chief Executive Officer Arthur R. Tan said Merlin’s patent and intellectual property portfolio allows the Ayala group to offer a differentiated value proposition in solar which, when combined with AC Industrials’ core strength of providing manufacturing scale through IMI’s global platform, will give the group an opportunity to disrupt the solar energy industry.

“The proprietary solar solutions that Merlin brings to the table are key to AC Industrials’ strategy of working on disruptive technologies, and aligns with the Ayala group’s drive to invest in emerging, innovative spaces, such as in e-commerce and (financial technology),” Ayala and AC Industrials Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala was quoted in the statement as saying.

“In addition, Merlin is highly complementary to various Ayala businesses, such as the renewable energy generation under AC Energy (Holdings, Inc.). We strongly believe that Merlin’s solar technology has the potential to profoundly impact people’s lives in the coming years,” he added.

The Ayala group consolidated its automotive and manufacturing assets under AC Industrials last year after transferring its ownership of IMI to its wholly owned subsidiary.

Ayala Corp. has diversified business interests that include real estate, financial services, telecommunications, water infrastructure development and electronics manufacturing. It has recently entered new sectors with investments in power generation, transport infrastructure development, health care, education and e-commerce


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