Bosch Takes Stake In Aleo Solar

BERLIN (AP) -- Robert Bosch GmbH said Monday it will move to acquire Aleo Solar AG in a cash for stock deal, offering euro9 per share, with an eye toward a controlling stake in the maker of solar panels.

Stuttgart-based Bosch will acquire 39.4 percent of Aleo's shares for euro46 million ($65 million), making it the biggest shareholder in the Oldenburg-based company.

Aleo Solar said some of its key shareholders, who hold nearly 40 percent of the company, had signed agreements with Bosch to sell their shares. The move is still subject to regulatory approval and the Aleo takeover will require approval of its shareholders.

The news invigorated Aleo Solar shares, which were up 32 percent to euro8.95 in Frankfurt trading shortly after the announcement.

"The selling shareholders comprise a group of investors around Marius Eriksen, the company's initiator and co-founder, as well as a company closely associated with Hannover Finanz, a financial investor who has invested in Aleo Solar since 2005," the company said.

Eriksen, who is Aleo's chairman, said the move confirmed "the strategy we've been pursuing for years."

Bosch is known for its automotive and industrial technology, but has, in recent years, been moving into the solar energy field. Last year it acquired Ersol Solar Energy AG and set up a solar energy division.

Besides Aleo Solar, Bosch also plans to take a majority stake in Johanna Solar Technology GmbH.

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