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OPEL TECHNOLOGIES ready to put solar business in the past

Opel Technologies says it is shedding its solar assets so it can focus on its core asset, a semiconductor fabrication process called POET. Opel Technologies (TSXV:OPL) today announced it had extended the exclusivity period on its agreement with Connecticut-based Northern States Metals.

Opel had announced in late August that it was working with the company to divest itself of its non-core solar holdings, including its Solar Tracker, a system designed to increase the yield of a Photovoltaic System. The new agreement extends the arrangement until October 12th.

Northern States said it is interested in Opel’s Solar Tracker because it believes the technology could lower the balance of system costs for large solar projects.

Opel says it is shedding its solar assets so it can focus on its core asset, a semiconductor fabrication process called POET. POET, an acronym for Planar Opto Electronic Technology, is technology management says can deliver semiconductor operating frequencies of up to 100 gigahertz and lower heat losses with greater reliability and a lower total system cost.

Tentalus Systems

Opel says its two current objectives are to divest itself of its solar operations and to drive the monetization efforts of the POET platform. The company has raised $5.4 million since June, and today announced it had repaid and closed the credit facility with TCA Global Credit Master Fund, LP. Management says it now has the clean balance sheet that will allow it to focus exclusively on POET.

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The trajectory of Opel Technology’s story is not unfamiliar to investors in the space. The company, which was based in New Brunswick but moved its offices to Ontario, went public on the TSXV in June 2007, raising $10.7 million in a reverse takeover. Shares of Opel soared on the promise of its innovation in high-concentration photovoltaic cells, an area in which the company had applied for more than forty patents. The company’s stock hit a high of $2.25 in November of that year.

When the recession of 2008 hit, however, Opel was hit especially hard, falling to $.12 cents by October 2008. Investors were no doubt taking as much stock of the company’s losses, which ended up at just under $6 million for fiscal 2007, as they were the its perceived leadership position in solar. Since then, Opel has continued to unveil a string of prestigious grants, awards and pilot projects with institutions such as the National Research Council of Canada and US Department of Defence, and has shifted its focus away from solar.

The company, which changed its name from Opel Solar to Opel Technologies last August, lost $15.16 million on revenues of $5.9 million in fiscal 2011.

At press time, shares of Opel were up 8% to $.405.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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