NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The big news today is that IKEA is selling solar panels... in England.
That may not be even the biggest news about IKEA. The bigger news may be that IKEA is shipping $1,000 refugee shelters to Syria in flat packs that limit the ability of President Assad's regime to use human suffering as a weapon against neighbors Turkey and Jordan.
An even bigger finance story may be that founder Ingvar Kamprad, 87, has set things up to maintain his family's control over the $12 billion enterprise and put his youngest son, 44-year old Mathias, into the presidency of the group while also having him run IKANO Group, which extends the family's reach into insurance and finance.PV-Magazine,, it's the next big thing. Hanergyis a lot like IKEA itself, in that it's privately held and vertically integrated. Its profits come from running hydroelectric dams, with 131 megawatts of power installed, and unlike nearly every other Chinese solar player, Hanergy has focused on Copper, Indium, Gallium Selenide, or CIGS, flat panels. Like First Solar (FSLR), the U.S. solar leader -- which uses a competing technology called cadmium telluride, or CdT, for its flat panels, Hanergy has until now focused on utility-scale projects, funded by the Chinese government. The IKEA deal is its first move into consumer markets. Hanergy's strategy has been to pick up bleeding-edge western companies like over-ripe fruit, once they run out of venture capital, with help from Chinese government funding based on its hydroelectric cash flow. according to Greentech Media, after MiaSole blew through $500 million in venture funding to develop its technology.
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