Sunpower spin-off Maxeon enters PPVX

The U.S. solar group Sunpower Corp. completed the split into two independent listed companies announced in November 2019 on August 26. As the Sunpower spin-off Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd. (at last Fridays closing price of $20.66) with a market capitalization of around $623 million is one of the 30 PV companies with the highest market capitalization worldwide, it has been included in the PHOTON Photovoltaic Stock Index PPVX as of September 4.
For the index calculation, the stock receives three of six possible weighting points and is initially weighted at 2.4 percent in the index. After the split, Sunpower itself has a market value of $1.89 billion (at the closing price of $11.09) and is accordingly weighted with four points. Due to the PPVX being limited to 30 stocks, the Swiss solar project developer Edisun Power Europe AG will leave the index as the company with the currently lowest market value (CHF114 million, $124.7 million).
Sunpower has allocated its shareholders one Maxeon share for every eight shares held on the pre-determined cut-off date of August 17. As also announced last year, the Chinese wafer manufacturer TZS (Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co. Ltd.), a long-standing supplier of Sunpower, has, independent of the spin-off, invested $298 million for almost 29 percent of Maxeon ($33.42 per share). The entire transaction was carried out with the express support of Sunpower’s majority shareholder, the French energy group Total, which now still holds around 36.4 percent of Maxeon. The free float of shares is just under 35 percent.
While Sunpower will continue to have its headquarters in San José (US state of California), Maxeon’s head office is located in Singapore. The company produces solar cells and modules there as well as in Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and France. The US production site in Hilsboro (Oregon) will remain with Sunpower.
The cell and module production as well as the distribution of the modules including projects is the core business of Maxeon, which will also represent the Sunpower product brand worldwide, with the exception of the USA and Canada. CEO of the new company is Jeff Waters, who was previously responsible for the technology division at Sunpower. Sunpower itself will operate as a »distributed generation storage and energy services provider« in North America. Tom Werner remains Chief Executive Officer.
In 2019, Maxeon had achieved a revenue increase of a good 30 percent to around $1.2 billion. Due to losses of $145 million on a long-term silicon supply contract, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were nevertheless negative at -$83.1 million. In the second quarter of 2020, Maxeon was still in the red with EBITDA of minus $18 million after several weeks of pandemic-related production downtime.
The PPVX as a whole is still in very good shape with a plus of 50.6 percent since the beginning of the year, even though last week – after a long phase of high price gains – 24 of the 30 shares lost value and the index fell by 7.3 percent overall.

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