SunPower buys Powerlight
While there have been some earlier small moves, today a big move came with the announcement that SunPower is going to be using their healthy market valuation to acquire Powerlight.
This follows on the SunEdison acquisition of Team Solar, and various other vertical integrations over the past year or so. It's very interesting to note Joel Makower's take in the Red Herring article linked above that this represents "Plan B" for Powerlight in their attempts to go public.
Joel has his own take here, and links this announcement to the upcoming Clean Tech Investor Summit. Neal Dikeman also has his take here.
For cleantech investors involved in solar, this may mark the beginning of a phase of exits via M&A versus IPO, a natural progression as the industry continues to mature. As the solar IPO wave potentially crests in 2007, investors evaluating new solar plays will need to adjust their expectations accordingly.