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ATS solar subsidiary takes $24-million accounting hit

Most of the charge represents deposits already paid


September 29, 2011
by The Canadian Press

CAMBRIDGE—ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. says its solar-energy subsidiary Photowatt France will take a $24-million accounting hit in the current quarter because it terminated a number of supplier contracts.

Photowatt has been part of ATS’s efforts to establish itself as a supplier of photovoltaic cells.

ATS says current prices for silicon and wafers have fallen below what Photowatt would have paid over the next six years under the contracts with its suppliers.

Most of the accounting charge represents previously paid deposits.

Photowatt has been a chronic drag on ATS finances, which makes machinery and equipment for industrial and automotive markets.