Moser Baer's subsidiary Moser Baer Photo Voltaic has picked up minority stake in California based Stion Corporation. Group CFO at Moser Baer India, Yogesh Mathur says, Stion Corporation is actually a technology company in the Silicon Valley, which is basically active in nanotechnology, reports CNBC-TV18.
CNBC-TV18's shares with domain-b an exclusive interview with Mathur:
Tell us a bit about this company you acquired and how much have you paid for it?
The company, Stion Corporation, is actually a technology company in the Silicon Valley, which is basically active in nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is something, which has a lot of potential in certain specific areas including the fact that you can make materials using custom tunable nanoparticles, which can absorb a very wide spectrum of light energy and can result in high efficiency solar cell applications.
We see this technology bearing fruit some years down the line and therefore we believe that we should be an early investor to help drive that technological development in future.
On the subject of amounts, sometime back we approved a budget of $17 million for investments, specifically into technology and this acquisition, of a significant minority stake in this company, is actually a part of that.
How much would that significant minority stake amount to in percentage?
It's roughly in the early 20 per cent. The percentage part isn't that significant for us; what is important for us is essentially that we would like to be an active partner in developing nanotecnology and realising its full potential in the solar energy space.
How much of revenue do you see coming in on account of this subsidiary because of the kind of investment that you have made in Solaria and SolFocus as well as the new amount that you picked up?
Solaria and SolFocus are two concentrator technologies, which are much nearer term. So we see significant revenues coming in starting next fiscal from both of them towards the late part of the next fiscal.
On the other hand, nanotechnology is still at a developmental stage and in terms of revenues it should see itself getting commercialised more like three-four years down the road. But it has the kind of potential in terms of what it would do to the industry because it has a potential to actually provide comparative cost of power in the future.
How much have you paid for this 20-per cent state that you picked up in Stion and by the end of FY08 do you see this making significant contribution to your topline?
Stion will make contributions only about two-three fiscal years down the line. In terms of revenues, the concentrator technology will see contributions much earlier.
How is the core business shaping up? Have realisations gone up and raw material prices gone down?
The last quarter's result bore out the fact that CDs are now firm in terms of price, polycarbonate has fallen off and stabilised in terms of both demand and supply, as well as cost and as a result we had over a 700-per cent points improvement in our margins QoQ last quarter.
So the recovery and return to normalcy and growth in terms of both margins and profitability is very much happening and meanwhile we continue to grow our topline between 25 per cent and 35 per cent per annum.
For the rest of this financial year will you hold your operating margins at the current rates of 26 or 27 per cent?
The indications are that we should be able to do so; we are entering the peak season, and seeing strong growths in DVDs and we see CDs looking reasonably firm in terms of both demand and pricing. So all the indications are positive.
How will your revenue mix shape up going forward since the shift is going to be towards DVDs because of the kind of demand that the product is seeing?
Over about last year and a half, we have seen DVDs becoming a more significant part of our revenue, climbing to late 40 or 50 per cent.
I think going forward the more significant factor now is the advent of the new format and we were the world's first to launch HD DVD. We see Blue-ray also coming in towards late part of this year. We see new formats touching in the region of 60 per cent including DVDs by the end of this fiscal.
also see : Moser Baer acquires
stake in US nanotechnology firm Stion Corporation