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Meldungen 21.06.2004

21.6.2004: Meldung: Solar Energy Systems (SES): acquisition of Solco Industries Pty Ltd

Solar Energy Systems Ltd (SES) is pleased to announce it has signed an agreement for the $3.15 million acquisition of Perth-based Solco Industries Pty Ltd.

The acquisition follows the recent release of the Federal Government"s ‘Energy White Paper" allocating $75 million to help households and businesses install solar hot water and solar power systems, and $100 million grants program to assist in commercialising renewable energy technologies.

 

SES Chairman Robin Forbes said "Solco produce the Solartech Genius®, which is the lowest cost solar hot water system in Australia. Solco have also sold more licenses to manufacture their product internationally than any other solar hot water company in the world - 13 in total. A 19% free carried interest has also been retained in the Portugal Licensee - perhaps the most exciting of all of the current international operations established. "

The Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy predicts the market for solar hot water in Australia is growing at 30% per year, and will grow from 36,000 units to around 100,000 units per year.

 

To date, Solco has only 2% of the Australian Solar hot water market, as management has previously focussed on international licence opportunities. In addition to continuing technology licensing, Solco will now vigorously pursue the Australian retail market and has already established a relationship with one of Western Australia"s largest project home builders who now offers a Solartech Genius® as standard on each of the new homes they build.

 

Mr Forbes said "This will transform SES into a profitable, diversified company. The acquisition has fantastic synergies with our existing distribution and projects businesses, and fits perfectly with our overall company vision to deliver sustainable water and power solutions at the lowest life cycle cost to our customers throughout the world."

 

Substantial support has recently been provided for solar hot water by state governments. From July 1, 2004, every new home in New South Wales and Victoria will require a solar hot water system in order to satisfy new legislative requirements. Rainwater tanks will also feature in the legislation, which Solco also produce.

Planned new legislation in Queensland which inhibits installation of electric storage hot water systems in new homes will also have a similar effect. New legislation in Western Australia is expected to follow shortly. Collectively, these programs provide an enormous boost to the solar hot water market.

 

Solco is well positioned to commence production in those states, as the capital cost of a Solco factory represents a small fraction of competing solar hot water companies cost of establishing a similar capacity factory. In addition, Renewable Energy Credits and State Government Subsidies exist in each of these states, South Australia and the ACT, meaning the Solartech Genius® system represents a cheaper hot water purchase than any other hot water system acceptable to the new legislation.

 

Solco CEO Tony Marwick said "We believe Solco is an excellent fit with SES. In addition to ongoing sales into urban markets, SES will be able to make substantial sales of the solar hot water systems through its existing distribution network - part of which already distributes our systems. SES will become a "one stop shop" for all renewable energy solutions".

The Solartech Genius® uses unique patented technology and is the world"s most cost-effective hot water system. This is because it uses free power from the sun, is cheaper than other solar hot water systems to produce and lasts much longer as it can never rust.

 

ABOUT SES

SES was established in January 1999 and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in December 2000 after a successful $5 million initial public offering. SES manufactures and installs innovative solar water pumping, solar power, and solar water purification solutions.

SES has been identified in the BRW Fast 100 and the Deloitte Touche 2003 Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500. In addition, SES won the prestigious Ethical Investor Sustainable Small Company of the Year Award in 2003.

 

For more information contact:

Duncan Stone SES Chief Executive Officer 08 9204 1521

0402987000

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