Since its inception in 2008 until its Sunnyvale, CA production facility was shuttered in late 2019, Alta fabricated gallium arsenide solar cells, which are highly efficient and resistant to moisture and UV radiation in contrast to the more widely used silicon. Alta’s cells once held the world record for the most efficient single junction solar cell. As such, the lightweight, flexible cells have been highly sought after in the aerospace, HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance), UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellite), LEOS (Low Earth Orbit Satellites), airship, and defense contracting industries.
In excess of $500 million of debt and equity was deployed to develop Alta’s intellectual property and construct a facility to allow for mass production. In 2013, the Company was acquired by China-based Hanergy. As a result of unrelated issues, Alta’s corporate parent was unable to provide support to continue funding research and the commercialization of the technology and the assets were ultimately conveyed to Utica.
SSG was retained to conduct a comprehensive marketing process to find a new owner. SSG canvassed a wide range of investors on a global scale and attracted interest from multiple international parties. The sale to Ubiquity proved to be the best solution given its plans to integrate the gallium arsenide assets with its silicon-based PV wafer, cell and modulation operation. Additionally, the sale allows the assets to remain in North America.