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Oerlikon Chief Sees More ‘Strategic Decisions’ After Solar Sale

Oerlikon’s Chief Executive Michael Buscher said the sale of a solar business for 250 million Swiss francs ($269 million) may be followed by other “strategic decisions” that draw on the company’s enhanced financial strength.

The sale of the unit to Japan’s Tokyo Electron Ltd. highlights a revamp of the Swiss company, which included negotiating a 1.48 billion-franc debt facility.

“It’s obvious that with strong operational results, and the credit facility that we set up, that those achievements give flexibility in strategic decisions going forward,” Buscher, who has led the Pfaeffikon-based firm since 2010, said in a telephone interview. He declined to specify whether purchases or divestments are planned.

The stock has risen 85 percent this year as Buscher divested peripheral units, including a textile-equipment business in July. Oerlikon signed the contract to sell the solar unit in March and was expecting the deal to close last quarter. The division makes equipment and production lines that companies such as Sharp Corp. use to make thin-film modules with silicon.

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