By St. Louis Business Journal

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. said Friday it completed its acquisition of privately held Solaicx, a maker of silicon ingots for the solar industry.

At closing, MEMC paid the initial merger consideration of $66 million in cash, plus an additional $10 million in cash that is equal to amounts that have recently been invested in Solaicx by its existing security holders.

Solaicx, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., has 80 employees and a large-scale production facility in Portland, Ore.

MEMC said it expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings per share in 2011.

Solaicx uses a proprietary, continuous crystal growth manufacturing technology to produce low-cost, high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon wafers for the photovoltaic solar industry, MEMC said. Solaicxâ¿¿s technology allows very high-volume crystal growth compared to silicon ingots produced in the traditional precision semiconductor manufacturing process, the company said. Wafers from Solaicx ingots have enhanced electrical performance that allows solar cell makers to create higher efficiency cells, MEMC said.

With the addition of Solaicx, MEMC said it will have low-cost polysilicon and crystal operations in North America and sales and support offices around the world.

St. Peters, Mo.-based MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR), led by Chief Executive Ahmad Chatila, manufactures wafers for the semiconductor and other industries, and develops solar power projects and provides solar energy services through its SunEdison division. MEMC reported $1.2 billion in 2009 revenue.

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