Ikea Group will not renew its contract with Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. to fit homes with solar panels.
The Swedish furniture giant has a new business model for its residential solar business that does not include the Hong Kong-based solar technology maker, it said Monday in an e-mailed statement. The contract ended on Nov. 1.
Ikea sold the thin-film solar panels for residential use in 35 stores in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. The partnership was said to be uncertain in May after Hanergy lost half its value in a stock selloff and was suspended from trading.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission is examining Hanergy’s stock trading for signs it was manipulated. Hanergy shares surged more than sixfold in the past year, with its market value surpassing Sony Corp at one point.
“It was a large-scale multi-market pilot project, and we were reviewing the way it works,” said Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer at Ikea. The probe into Hanergy was a ”natural point” in the review, declining to comment further on the case.
The new business model with new partners will be announced early next year. The company is aiming to roll it out in many markets, notably in southern areas with lower population density.
“By 2030, it will be unusual to have a rooftop that isn’t solarized,” Howard said. “The technology is ripe for widespread adoption.” Ikea is planning to have solar as a ”meaningful” and long-term part of its business.
Ikea is “working collaboratively” with Hanergy to phase out the partnership, it said in the statement.