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TheStreet Open House

Westinghouse Solar Enters Italian Commercial Solar Market Through A Joint Venture With CBD Energy

Stocks in this article: WEST

Agreement for Up to 50% Interest in Projects

Companies to Share Profits

CAMPBELL, Calif., Aug. 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Westinghouse Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:WEST), a designer and manufacturer of integrated rooftop solar power systems, and CBD Energy Ltd. (AUST:CBD), a diversified renewable energy company, today announced a joint venture to design, engineer, procure and construct (EPC) commercial projects in Italy.

Westinghouse Solar CEO Margaret Randazzo commented, "This agreement is a continuation of our companies' collaborative efforts as we move towards our merger. As with our previously announced Harvey Norman agreement and the 1.4 MW EPC project in New Jersey, we continue to look for collaboration opportunities that benefit both entities. We believe our investment in this venture further diversifies our business, and will provide incremental earnings."

CBD Managing Director, Gerry McGowan, stated, "As we work toward completion of our merger, we are committed to help improve the financial performance of Westinghouse Solar. In doing so, our teams continue to look for opportunities where both parties can bring something to the table. By partnering with Westinghouse Solar, we are able to diversify their business and provide them an attractive earnings source through their investment and participation in our Italy project pipeline. Following merger closing, we intend to pursue additional EPC opportunities in Europe and the U.S." Mr. McGowan said.

Westinghouse Solar will obtain a 25% stake (with the option to take up to a 50% stake) in the profits from CBD's commercial project pipeline in Italy, in exchange for an investment of $1.5 million (with option to invest up to a further $1.5 million). In May 2012, CBD announced it had obtained a $25 million credit facility to support development and sale of the Italy projects, which covers up to 75% of the development and construction cost of each project. In June 2012, CBD completed the first of several planned 5MW projects in Italy, and has negotiated the sale of that first project to a third party off-taker (closing is subject to verification due diligence by the off-taker) for €12.5 million. CBD expects to deliver five additional 5MW projects (another 25MW total) starting in October of this year, to be sold under a framework agreement being negotiated with the same project off-taker. Westinghouse Solar would receive its share of earnings from the joint venture, which is estimated at $5 million (based on a 50% participation stake in the joint venture) for the total 30MW. Earnings from project sales are projected to begin in the third quarter of 2012. Westinghouse Solar is pursuing an at-market equity capital financing to raise the funds for its investment in the joint venture.

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