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centrotherm photovoltaics passes resolution to integrate sister company centrotherm Thermal Solutions by way of payment-in-kind

Blaubeuren, 14.10.2008

  • Combined capital increase in cash and in kind and pre-emptive rights for all shareholders
  • Issue of up to eight million new shares with a 2:1 subscription ratio
  • Major shareholder Hartung Beteiligungs GmbH accepts significant discount to auditor's valuation for payment-in-kind

With the approval of the Supervisory Board, the Management Board of centrotherm photovoltaics AG has passed a resolution today to perform a combined cash and non-cash capital increase using approved capital, and with subscription rights for shareholders. The aim is to increase the company's share capital by up to EUR 8 million from currently EUR 16 million up to EUR 24 million. The new shares will be correspondingly offered to all shareholders for subscription with a two to one subscription ratio. Commerzbank AG, as the sole lead manager and sole bookrunner, will manage the capital increase along with Landesbank Baden-Württemberg as co-lead manager.

The shareholder Hartung Beteiligungs GmbH will use its subscription rights by subscribing for a total of 4,224,293 new shares, thereby contributing all its shares in centrotherm Thermal Solutions GmbH & Co. KG and its general partner as payment in kind. The subscription price for the new shares to be subscribed for against payment-in-kind has been fixed at EUR 32.50 per new share. Hartung Beteiligungs has stated ahead of the transaction that it is prepared to contribute its shares in centrotherm Thermal Solutions with a significant discount of around EUR 62 million compared with the valuation of around EUR199 million that has been calculated by Ernst & Young as an independent auditing company.

The remaining shareholders are entitled to subscribe for a total of 3,775,707 new shares against cash contribution. In line with the 2:1 subscription ratio, two old shares of centrotherm photovoltaics AG entitle the holder to subscribe for one new share. Shareholders' depositary banks will register the subscription rights to shareholders according to the status as of late October 16, and can be exercised in the period between October 17 and October 31, 2008. The subscription price for the new shares to be subscribed against cash contribution will be announced prospectively on October 27, 2008. It will be fixed on the basis of the volume-weighted average price of the centrotherm photovoltaics share in Xetra trading on the Frankfurt Securities Exchange in the period between October 22, 2008 and October 24, 2008, with a discount reflecting market environment. The subscription price for new shares to be subscribed against cash contribution will amount to a maximum of EUR 32.50 per share, thereby not exceeding the subscription price for the new shares subscribed against payment in kind. No arrangements have been made for trading in the subscription rights. The scope of the capital increase in cash and in kind will reflect the extent to which shareholders subscribe for the new shares. The syndicate banks, in coordination with centrotherm photovoltaics AG, may place any new shares not subscribed for on the basis of the subscription offer among institutional investors as part of an international private placement. The syndicate banks have neither the right nor the obligation to acquire and resell new shares that have not been subscribed for. centrotherm Thermal Solutions supplies centrotherm photovoltaics with thermal equipments as part of an exclusive cooperation agreement. This supply is either sold as individual equipment, or used in turnkey production lines for the manufacturing of solar cells. centrotherm Thermal Solutions currently employs a workforce of over 400 people, and achieved 2007 sales of EUR 106.5 million (on the basis of IFRS accounting), and an EBIT of EUR 7.1 million. In the first half of 2008, it achieved IFRS sales of EUR 78.5 million, and an EBIT of EUR 8.2 million.

Further information on the capital increase can be found in the securities prospectus, which the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) will prospectively approve on October 15, 2008, and which will be published on the company's website at www.centrotherm.de.

centrotherm photovoltaics is withdrawing the earnings forecast it issued on March 31 of this year as a result of the forthcoming capital measures, for which the company will issue a securities prospectus. This does not imply any statement as to whether sales or earnings for the 2008 financial year will be higher or lower than originally forecasted. As a result of the high level of its order backlog and business growth to date, centrotherm photovoltaics continues to assume a significant rise in sales compared with the 2007 financial year, accompanied by a further good return on sales, even excluding the integration of centrotherm Thermal Solutions.

centrotherm photovoltaics also intends to acquire up to 158,549 shares in the market as part of a share buy-back program, prospectively after the conclusion of the capital increase and until December 31, 2008 the latest. The intention is that these shares will be transferred to Dr. Albrecht Mozer as part-payment for the sale of shares in SolMic GmbH that was announced on August 22, 2008.

Disclaimer

This publication represents neither an offer for sale nor a solicitation to purchase securities in Germany, the United States of America, or any other jurisdiction. The company's securities are not, and will not, be offered for public sale outside Germany. A public offer in Germany will occur exclusively through, and on the basis of, a published securities prospectus. Only such a securities prospectus contains the legally required information for investors. As part of the public offer in Germany, the securities prospectus will be available free of charge on the company's website, and a printed copy will be available on request during normal business hours from the company and banks forming the syndicate.

– End of the ad hoc release –

 

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG

centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, is one of the world's leading technology and service-providers for the manufacturing of solar cells and solar silicon. The broad product spectrum comprises key equipment and turnkey production lines for crystalline and thin-film solar cells. The product range is supplemented by reactors and converters for the manufacturing of solar silicon. centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance parameters such as production capacity, degree of efficacy, and completion deadlines for turnkey lines. The centrotherm photovoltaics Group currently employs 330 staff members at its locations in Blaubeuren, Burghausen, Constance, and Dresden, and operates globally in Europe, Asia, and the USA. The company achieved revenue in the financial year 2007 of EUR 166.2 million, EBIT of EUR 21.1 million, and is listed in the TecDax of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

centrotherm photovoltaics AG

Johannes-Schmid-Straße 8
89143 Blaubeuren
www.centrotherm.de

ISIN: DE000A0JMMN2
WKN: A0JMMN
Listing: Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Securities Exchange
Registered Office: Germany

Company Contact:

Saskia Schultz-Ebert
Senior Manager Investor Relations
T +49 7344 918-8890
E-Mail

Press Contact:

Christina Siebels, Grit Pauli
HOSCHKE & CONSORTEN Public Relations GmbH
T +49 40 3690 50-58/-31
E-Mail to Christina Siebels
E-Mail to Grit Pauli