AUSTRIA/CHINA: Haier has acquired a 51% stake in Austrian company Greenonetec, the world’s largest manufacturer of thermal flat plate collectors.

From a 28,000m² factory and 150,000m² of storage in St Veit, southern Austria, Greenonetec produced 540,000m² of solar collectors in 2015, achieving a turnover of €33.2m. The company supplies to more than 40 countries worldwide and claims a market share of over 25% in Europe.

The deal, which has been two years in negotiation, sees Haier holding 50% of the voting rights with Greenonetec founder Robert Kanduth remaining as managing director with the other half of the voting rights.

Hair will invest around €1m this year with a view to expansion of business in the Asian market.