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Ascent Solar To Recognize Substantial Gain on Sale of Thornton Facility

THORNTON, CO, April 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art, lightweight and flexible thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solutions, announces that the Company has entered into a real estate Purchase and Sale Agreement (the “Agreement”) with a Colorado limited liability company (the “Purchaser”). Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, at closing the Company will sell its Thornton, Colorado manufacturing facility (the “Building”) to the Purchaser for a sales price of $13M.  The closing of the sale of the Building is subject to customary diligence by the Purchaser and satisfaction of other conditions precedent to closing.  The sale of the Building is expected to close in the early part of the 2019 third quarter.

Following closing, the Company will have up to one hundred twenty (120) days of post-closing rent-free occupancy right to allow a smooth transition out of the Building, subject to withholding of $750K from the sales proceeds which shall be released when the Company completely vacates the Building. During this post closing occupancy period, Purchaser shall also pay for all operating costs including taxes, insurance, CAM, utilities, etc. to the extent those costs would not materially change with Seller’s co-occupancy.

The Building, at approximately 139K square feet, was acquired back in 2007 with a planned production capacity of 30MW of PV to compete in the large scale utility power generation and rooftop PV application markets that are no longer a valid business model to the Company. The facility was never fully utilized and the Company had been operating in the oversized facility with higher than necessary operating costs. Given the strong real estate market and as part of the Company’s plan to further streamline its existing PV operation to solely focus on developing the Tier-1 high-value PV markets, especially in the space and near space, drones and UAVs and defense markets, Company management determined that it was in the best interest of the Company and its shareholders to dispose the Building on attractive terms and to reduce the Company’s debt and operating costs. Post-closing, the Company will lease a facility of approximately 25K square feet to continue its current operations and development efforts in the low volume but high-value PV markets.

As a result of the sale, the Company will recognize a one-time gain of approximately $8.7M. Accordingly, the $4.3M net book value allocated to the Building will no longer be recorded under Property, Plant and Equipment on the Company’s balance sheet. On the flip side, the Company will utilize the sales proceeds, net of brokers’ commissions and other transaction expenses, to pay off (i) the existing mortgage loan on the Building ($5.7M), (ii) approximately $3.3M debt secured by a second lien on the Building, (iii) and to partially pay off the approximately $5.5M debt secured by a third lien on the Building.

The principal effects on the Company’s statement of operations going forward will see a marginal increase in lease expense, which shall be more than offset by a substantial decrease in interest expense and depreciation.  For the first full year, the Company expects a savings of over $1M in interest expense and approximately $200K in depreciation expense. The expected reduction in interest expense is based on interest applicable to the mortgage loan and debt paid down with proceeds from the sale of the Property.

“We are pleased to be able to capitalize on the appreciation of the building value to pay off the mortgage and reduce our other debts, which allow us to move forward with a more nimble operation sized to our requirements,” said Victor Lee, President and CEO of Ascent Solar. “The move will cause temporary and minor disruption to our operation as we have built up sufficient inventory to meet any foreseeable sales. The substantial savings from maintaining a much smaller facility, less equipment and interest cost sized to our requirements will help to speed up Ascent’s road to profitability. We look forward to updating our shareholders as we develop more concrete plans in the near future.”


Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., an ISO 9001-2015 certified company, is a developer of thin-film photovoltaic modules using flexible substrate materials that are more versatile and rugged than traditional solar panels.  Ascent Solar modules were named as one of the top 100 technologies in both 2010 and 2015 by R&D Magazine, and one of TIME Magazine's 50 best inventions for 2011. The technology described above represents the cutting edge of flexible power and can be directly integrated into consumer products and off-grid applications, as well as other aerospace applications. Ascent Solar is headquartered in Thornton, Colorado, where the company’s quality management system has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification. More information can be found at www.AscentSolar.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical or current fact constitute "forward-looking statements." Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other unknown factors that could cause the Company's actual operating results to be materially different from any historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition to statements that explicitly describe these risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider statements that contain terms such as "believes," "belief," "expects," "expect," "intends," "intend," "anticipate," "anticipates," "plans," "plan," to be uncertain and forward-looking. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject generally to other risks and uncertainties that are described from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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