SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☐||REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended January 1, 2023
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|☐||SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
Commission File Number: 001-39368
Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
8 Marina Boulevard #05-02
Marina Bay Financial Centre
(Address of principal executive office)
51 Rio Robles
San Jose, California 95134
(Name, Telephone, Email and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
|Title of each class|
|Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Ordinary Shares, no par value|
|NASDAQ Global Select Market|
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
45,033,027 ordinary shares as of January 1, 2023
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☐||Accelerated filer||S|
|Non-accelerated filer||☐||Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on an attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15U.S.C. 7762(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
|U.S. GAAP||S||International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board||☐||Other||☐|
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17 ☐ Item 18 ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
Table of Contents
We are registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (“ACRA”) under the name “Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd.”
We were formed in the third quarter of 2019 under the name “Maxeon Solar Technologies, Pte. Ltd.” and converted to a public company under the Companies Act 1967 of Singapore (the “Singapore Companies Act”) under the name of “Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd.”
We prepare consolidated and combined financial statements expressed in U.S. dollars. Our consolidated and combined financial statements responsive to Item 17 of this Form 20-F are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”).
The Company has a 52-to-53-week fiscal year that ends on the Sunday closest to December 31. Accordingly, every fifth or sixth year will be a 53-week fiscal year. Fiscal year 2020 is a 53-week fiscal year while fiscal year 2022 and 2021 are 52-week fiscal years. Our fiscal year 2022 ended on January 1, 2023, our fiscal year 2021 ended on January 2, 2022 and our fiscal year 2020 ended on January 3, 2021.
We are a holding company of businesses contributed to Maxeon by SunPower Corporation (“SunPower”) in connection with the spin-off (the “Spin-off”), which completed on August 26, 2020 (the “Distribution Date”). The Spin-off was completed by way of a pro rata distribution of all of the then-issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Maxeon (the “Maxeon shares” or the “ordinary shares”) to holders of record of SunPower’s common stock (the “Distribution”) as of the close of business on August 17, 2020. As a result of the Distribution of the Maxeon shares, on the Distribution Date, Maxeon became an independent, public company and the Maxeon shares started trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “MAXN”.
MAXEON is a registered trademark of Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. Visit
https://corp.maxeon.com/trademarks for more information.
USE OF CERTAIN TERMS
In this annual report, “we,” “us,” “our” and “Maxeon” shall refer to Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. as the context may require.
Unit of Power When referring to our solar power systems, our facilities’ manufacturing capacity and total sales in this Form 20-F, the unit of electricity in watts for kilowatts (“KW”), megawatts (“MW”) and gigawatts (“GW”) is direct current (“DC”), unless otherwise noted as alternating current (“AC”).
Levelized Cost of Energy (“LCOE”)
LCOE is an evaluation of the life-cycle energy cost and life-cycle energy production of an energy producing system. It allows alternative technologies to be compared across different scales of operation, investment or operating time periods. It captures capital costs and ongoing system-related costs, along with the amount of electricity produced, and converts them into a common metric. Key drivers for LCOE measures for photovoltaic products include panel efficiency, capacity factors, reliable system performance, and the life of the system.
Customer Cost of Energy (“CCOE”)
Our customers are focused on reducing their overall cost of energy by intelligently integrating solar and other DG sources, energy efficiency, energy management, and energy storage systems with their existing utility-provided energy. The CCOE measurement is an evaluation of a customer’s overall cost of energy, taking into account the cost impact of each individual generation source (including the utility), energy storage systems, and energy management systems. The CCOE measurement includes capital costs and ongoing operating costs, along with the amount of electricity produced, stored, saved, or re-sold, and converts all of these variables into a common metric. The CCOE metric allows customers to compare different portfolios of generation sources, energy storage, and energy management, and to tailor their solution towards optimization.
This Form 20-F contains certain industry and market data that were obtained from third-party sources, such as industry surveys and industry publications, including, but not limited to, publications by Wood MacKenzie, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, S&P Global (previously IHS Markit) and PV Evolution Labs. This Form 20-F also contains other industry and market data, including market sizing estimates, growth and other projections and information regarding our competitive position, prepared by our management on the basis of such industry sources and our management’s knowledge of and experience in the industry and markets in which we operate (including management’s estimates and assumptions relating to such industry and markets based on that knowledge). Our management has developed its knowledge of such industry and markets through its experience and participation in these markets.
In addition, industry surveys and industry publications generally state that the information they contain has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but that the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed and that any projections they contain are based on a number of significant assumptions. Forecasts, projections and other forward-looking information obtained from these sources involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed in the section “Special Note About Forward-Looking Statements” below. You should not place undue reliance on these statements.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements relating to Maxeon in this Form 20-F or documents incorporated by reference constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, but not limited to, statements regarding: (a) our expectations regarding pricing trends, demand and growth projections; (b) potential disruptions to our operations and supply chain that may result from epidemics, natural disasters or military conflicts, including the duration, scope and impact on the demand for our products, market disruptions from the war in Ukraine and the pace of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; (c) anticipated product launch timing and our expectations regarding ramp, customer acceptance and demand, upsell and expansion opportunities; (d) our expectations and plans for short- and long-term strategy, including our anticipated areas of focus and investment, market expansion, product and technology focus, and projected growth and profitability; (e) our ability to meet short-term and long-term material cash requirements, our ability to complete an equity or debt offering at favorable terms, if at all, and our overall liquidity, substantial indebtedness and ability to obtain additional financing; (f) our technology outlook, including anticipated fab capacity expansion and utilization and expected ramp and production timelines for the Company’s Maxeon 6, next-generation Maxeon 7 and Performance line solar panels, expected cost reductions, and future performance; (g) our strategic goals and plans, including partnership discussions with respect to the Company’s next-generation technology, and our relationships with existing customers, suppliers and partners, and our ability to achieve and maintain them; (h) our expectations regarding our future performance and revenues resulting from contracted orders, bookings, backlog, and pipelines in our sales channels; and (i) our projected effective tax rate and changes to the valuation allowance related to our deferred tax assets. The forward-looking statements can be also identified by terminology such as “may,” “might,” “could,” “will,” “aims,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates” and similar statements.
These forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that may cause results, performance or achievement to materially differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of risks. The reader should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurances that the plans, initiatives or expectations upon which they are based will occur. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: (1) challenges in executing transactions key to our strategic plans, including regulatory and other challenges that may arise; (2) our liquidity, substantial indebtedness, terms and conditions upon which our indebtedness is incurred, and ability to obtain additional financing for our projects, customers and operations; (3) our ability to manage supply chain shortages and cost increases and operating expenses; (4) potential disruptions to our operations and supply chain that may result from damage or destruction of facilities operated by our suppliers, difficulties in hiring or retaining key personnel, epidemics, natural disasters, including impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, or the war in Ukraine; (5) our ability to manage our key customers and suppliers; (6) the success of our ongoing research and development efforts and our ability to commercialize new products and services, including products and services developed through strategic partnerships; (7) competition in the solar and general energy industry and downward
pressure on selling prices and wholesale energy pricing, including impacts of inflation, economic recession and foreign exchange rates upon customer demand; (8) changes in regulation and public policy, including the imposition and applicability of tariffs; (9) our ability to comply with various tax holiday requirements as well as regulatory changes or findings affecting the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy and availability of tax incentives or imposition of tax duties; (10) fluctuations in our operating results and in the foreign currencies in which we operate; (11) appropriately sizing, or delays in expanding our manufacturing capacity and containing manufacturing and logistics difficulties that could arise; (12) unanticipated impact to customer demand and sales schedules due, among other factors, to the spread of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, economic recession and environmental disasters; (13) challenges managing our acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, including our ability to successfully manage acquired assets and supplier relationships; (14) reaction by securities or industry analysts to our quarterly guidance which, in combination with our results of operations or other factors, may cause them to cease publishing research or reports about us, or adversely change their recommendations regarding our ordinary shares, which may negatively impact the market price of our ordinary shares and volume of our stock trading; and (15) unpredictable outcomes resulting from our litigation activities or other disputes.
Some of these factors are discussed in more detail in this Form 20-F, including under “Item 3.D. Risk Factors,” “Item 4. Information on the Company,” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.” Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this Form 20-F as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. We provide the information in this Form 20-F as of the date of its filing. We do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update any information or forward-looking statements set out in this Form 20-F as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORS
1.A. DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT
ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION
3.B. CAPITALIZATION AND INDEBTEDNESS
3.C. REASONS FOR THE OFFER AND USE OF PROCEEDS
3.D. RISK FACTORS
You should carefully consider the risks described in this section, together with all of the other information included in this Form 20-F, in evaluating us and our shares. The following risk factors could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and the price of our shares.
Risk Factor Summary
The following is a summary of the principal risks discussed in greater detail in the following pages, that could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, supply chain, intellectual property, cybersecurity, and ownership of our shares:
Risks Related to the Maxeon Business Generally
•If we fail to successfully reduce costs in response to downward pressure on solar panel prices, or fail to develop and introduce new and enhanced products, we may be unable to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenues, profits and cash flows could suffer.
•Adverse global economic conditions could have a negative effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and liquidity.
•Changes in international trade policies, tariffs, or trade disputes, or the reduction, modification, or elimination of government incentives, could significantly and adversely affect our business, revenues, margins, results of operations and cash flows.
•Existing regulations and policies and changes to these regulations and policies may present technical, regulatory, and economic barriers to the purchase and use of solar power products, which may significantly reduce demand for our products.
•We may incur unexpected warranty and product liability claims that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations, damage our market reputation, and prevent us from maintaining or increasing our market share.
•Seasonal trends and construction cycles could have an adverse effect on our business.
•We have significant global activities and customers, which subject us to additional business risks, including logistical complexity and political instability.
•The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on, and may continue to adversely impact, our business, operations, and financial performance, as well as the business operations and financial performance of suppliers, dealers and customers.
Risks Related to Our Liquidity
•We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flows or obtain access to external financing necessary to fund our operations or make necessary capital expenditures due to, among other factors, rising input cost and supply chain disruptions, as well as our development of new supplier relationships and the preparation and ramp up of new production capacities, including general economic environment impacted also by the COVID-19 pandemic and international instability due to the war in Ukraine that started in February 2022.
•The existence of substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet our payment obligations under our debt commitments.
•We may be unable to raise the funds necessary to repurchase the Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable, for cash following a fundamental change or pursuant to a mandatory redemption, or to pay any cash amounts due upon conversion.
•A significant portion of our assets, including our intellectual property that we hold outside of the United States, have been pledged as collateral.
•We may be classified as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 7874 of the Code, which could result in Maxeon being subject to U.S. federal income tax indefinitely.
•Failure to meet hiring, capital spending and other requirements to utilize tax incentives provided to us in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, or to avail ourselves of tax incentives in other jurisdictions, could adversely affect our results.
Risks Related to Our Supply Chain
•We will continue to be dependent on a limited number of third-party suppliers, and in some cases, sole suppliers, for certain raw materials, capital equipment and components for our products, and increases in costs, could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and could in turn result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments, and loss of market share.
Risks Related to Our Operations
•We have significant global activities and customers, which subject us to additional business risks, including logistical complexity and political instability.
•If we do not achieve satisfactory yields or quality in manufacturing our solar products, our sales could decrease and our relationships with our customers and our reputation may be harmed.
•Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
•We may be unable to successfully implement price increases to offset inflation and, as a result, our businesses and financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected.
•Our manufacturing facilities, as well as the facilities of certain subcontractors and suppliers, are located in regions that are subject to epidemic or pandemic events, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, and climate change and climate change regulation that could have an adverse effect on our operations and financial results.
•We derive a significant portion of our revenues from our largest customers and are subjected to concentration of credit risk.
•Our insurance for certain indemnity obligations we have to our officers and directors may be inadequate, and potential claims could materially and negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
•We depend on our Huansheng JV (as defined below) for a portion of our Performance line solar panels and any failure to obtain sufficient volume or competitive pricing could significantly impact our revenues, ability to grow and damage our customer relationships.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property and Cybersecurity
•We may face intellectual property infringement claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend and could result in significant losses or the ability make, use or sell our products.
•We depend on our intellectual property, and we may not obtain sufficient patent protection on the technology embodied in the solar products we currently or plan to manufacture and market, which could harm our competitive position and increase our expenses.
•We may be subject to breaches of information technology systems utilized by us or our suppliers, vendors, customers and other third parties with whom we conduct business, which could impact or our business data, lead to disclosure of our internal information, damage our reputation or relationships with customers, disrupt access to our online services, and impact our operations. Such breaches could subject us to significant reputational, financial, legal, and operational consequences.
Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Shares
•TotalEnergies’s and TZE’s significant ownership of our shares may adversely affect the liquidity and value of our shares.
•If a substantial number of Maxeon shares become available for sale and are sold in a short period of time, the market price for our shares could experience volatility and/or decline.
•The effect of the Physical Delivery Forward and Prepaid Forward, which were entered into in connection with the issuance of our Green Convertible Notes, may affect the value of Maxeon shares and may result in unexpected market activity in Maxeon shares.
•We may issue additional Maxeon shares, other equity or equity-linked or debt securities, which may materially and adversely affect the price of the Maxeon shares.
•Securities analysts may not publish favorable research or reports about our business or may publish no information at all, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
•As a foreign private issuer, we are permitted and expect to follow certain home country corporate governance requirements in lieu of certain NASDAQ requirements applicable to domestic issuers.
Risks Related to the Maxeon Business Generally
If we fail to develop and introduce new and enhanced products or expand manufacturing capacity to maintain our current price structure, or fail to successfully reduce costs, we may be unable to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenues, profits and cash flows could suffer.
Our solar panels are competitive in the market as compared with lower cost conventional solar cells, such as thin-film, due to our products’ higher efficiency, among other things. A principal component of our business strategy is reducing costs to manufacture our products competitively and profitably. If our competitors are able to drive down their manufacturing costs or increase the efficiency of their products faster than we can, or if competitor products are exempted from tariffs and quotas and ours are not or if they benefit from lower tariffs and quotas than us, our products may become less competitive even when adjusted for efficiency. Further, if raw materials costs and other third-party component costs increase, we may not meet our cost reduction targets. If we cannot effectively manage our costs, our competitive position could suffer, we could lose sales and/or market share, and our margins could be adversely affected.
The solar power market is characterized by continually changing technology and improving features, such as increased efficiency, higher power output and enhanced aesthetics. Technologies developed by our direct competitors, including thin-film solar panels, concentrated solar power systems, solar thermal electric and other solar technologies, may provide energy at lower costs than our products. We also face competition in some markets from other energy generation sources, including conventional fossil fuels, wind, biomass, and hydro. In addition, we compete with traditional utilities that supply energy to our potential customers. Such utilities have greater financial, technical, operational and other resources than we do. If electricity rates decrease and our products become less competitive by comparison, our operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Failure to further refine our technology, reduce costs in our manufacturing process, and develop and introduce new solar power products could cause our products or our manufacturing facilities to become less competitive or obsolete, which could reduce our market share, cause our sales to decline, and cause the impairment of our assets. We are required to continually develop new solar power products and enhancements for existing solar power products to keep pace with evolving industry standards, competitive pricing and changing customer preferences, expectations, and requirements. It is difficult to successfully predict the products our customers will demand. If we cannot continually improve the efficiency and prove the reliability of our solar panels as compared with those of our competitors, our pricing will become less competitive, we could lose market share, and our margins would be adversely affected.
As we introduce new or enhanced products or integrate new technology and components into our products or expand our manufacturing capacity, we will face risks relating to new product launches and transitioning to new technologies and / or execution of our expansion plans including, among other things, the incurrence of high fixed costs, competition for equipment, technical challenges which may result in delivery delays, acceptance of products by our customers, disruption in customers’ ordering patterns, insufficient supplies of new products to meet customers’ demand, possible product and technology defects arising from the integration of new technology and a potentially different sales and support environment relating to any new technology. For example, our Performance line manufacturing operations in Mexicali, Mexico and Malaysia are primarily intended to supply large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant customers in the United States market, and to the extent we are further delayed in our projected production schedule, or fail to achieve our projected production volumes, or fail to renegotiate with customers on revised delivery schedules, we may suffer significant liquidated damages for the volumes we have contractually committed, face additional risks resulting from our failure to meet customers’ demand and significantly impair our plans for entering the large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant markets in the United States and our plans for growth in that market. Our failure to manage the transition to newer products or the integration of newer technology and components into our products could adversely affect our business’s operating results, financial condition and cash flows.
The increase in the global supply of solar cells and panels, and increasing competition, may cause substantial downward pressure on the prices of such products or result in increased or changing tariff policies and cause us to lose sales or market share, resulting in lower revenues, earnings, and cash flows.
Global solar cell and panel production capacity has been materially increasing overall, and solar cell and solar panel manufacturers currently have excess capacity, relative to global demand, particularly in China. We believe the solar industry may from time to time experience periods of structural imbalance between supply and demand, and that such periods result in unpredictability (i.e. pressure on pricing or imbalanced supply due to governmental policies). Excess capacity and industry competition have resulted in the past, and may continue to result, in substantial downward pressure on the price of solar cells and panels, including our products. More recently, there has been additional pressure on global demand and increasing average selling prices resulting from fluctuating supply and demand in certain solar markets, as well as increasing supply chain costs. Intensifying competition could also cause us to lose sales or market share. The excess of global supply coupled with the decline in demand in light of a global economic slowdown caused by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic or an economic recession, and the associated decrease in consumer spending, may result in a global price reduction, such as the global price reduction in which occurred in 2020. Fluctuations in supply and demand caused by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession and governmental policies such as the former “dual control of energy consumption policy of China’, as well as increased supply chain costs, may result in a global increase in the price of certain supply commodities, such as which occurred in 2021. See “Risk Factors – Risks Related to our Supply Chain - We will continue to be dependent on a limited number of third-party suppliers for certain raw materials and components for our products, and increases in the costs for raw materials and components required for our solar products could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and could in turn result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments, and loss of market share.” Such price fluctuations and impacts on demand are difficult to plan for and could have a negative impact on our revenue and earnings, and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and cash flows. In addition, our internal pricing forecasts may not be accurate in such a market environment, which could cause our financial results to be different than forecasted. Uncertainty with respect to United States, People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), European and
other government policies, including trade tariffs, subsidies or other incentives for solar projects, may continue to cause increased, decreased, or volatile supply and/or demand for solar products, which could negatively impact our revenue and earnings. See “Risk Factors – Risks Related to the Maxeon Business Generally - Changes in international trade policies, tariffs, or trade disputes could significantly and adversely affect our business, revenues, margins, results of operations and cash flows.”
Adverse global economic conditions could have a negative effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and liquidity.
A general slowdown in the global economy, including a recession, due to inflation, geopolitics, major central bank policy actions including interest rate increases, public health crises, or other factors, or a tightening of the credit markets, could negatively impact our business, financial condition and liquidity. As credit markets become more challenging, customers may be unable or unwilling to obtain financing for the cost of our products, and the parties that have historically provided this financing may cease to do so, or only do so on terms that are substantially less favorable for our customers, any of which could materially and adversely affect sales of our products and our revenue and growth of our business. Cancellations or rescheduling of customer orders could result in the delay or loss of anticipated sales without allowing us sufficient time to reduce, or delay the incurrence of, our corresponding inventory and operating expenses. In addition, changes in forecasts or the timing of orders from these or other customers expose us to the risks of inventory shortages or excess inventory. Adverse global economic conditions have from time to time caused or exacerbated significant slowdowns in the industries and markets in which we operate, which may adversely affect our business and results of operations. Macroeconomic weakness and uncertainty also make it more difficult for us to accurately forecast revenue, gross margin and expenses, and may make it more difficult to raise or refinance external financing to fund our operations and capital expenditures.
The solar industry faces competition from other types of renewable and non-renewable power industries.
The solar industry faces competition from other renewable energy companies and non-renewable power industries, including nuclear energy and fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. Technological innovations in these other forms of energy may reduce their costs or increase their safety. Large-scale new deposits of fossil fuel may be discovered, which could reduce their costs. Local governments may decide to strengthen their support for other renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and ocean power, and reduce their support for the solar industry. The inability to compete successfully against producers of other forms of power would reduce our market share and negatively affect our results of operations.
Changes in international trade policies, tariffs, or trade disputes could significantly and adversely affect our business, revenues, margins, results of operations and cash flows.
Developments in international trade have the potential to adversely impact our business:
Safeguard measure. The United States has imposed a safeguard measure on imported solar cells, laminates and modules since February 7, 2018. On February 4, 2022, this safeguard measure was extended for four additional years pursuant to Proclamation 10339, based on recommendations by the U.S. International Trade Commission (the “ITC”) to continue providing relief to U.S. manufacturers. Modules were subjected to a tariff of 14.75% during the first year of the extension (which runs from February 7, 2022 to February 6, 2023), and the tariff rate will decline by 0.25% in each of the three subsequent years, to a final tariff rate of 14%. Cells are subject to a tariff-rate quota (“TRQ”), under which the first 5 GW of cell imports each year are exempt from tariffs; cells imported in excess of the 5 GW quota are subject to the same 14.75% tariff as modules in the first year, with the same 0.25% decline in each of the three subsequent years.
Bifacial modules were initially subject to the safeguard measure, then excluded, then re-covered, then re-excluded pursuant to a November 2021 U.S. Court of International Trade decision; on January 14, 2022, the Biden Administration filed a notice of appeal against the decision before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Proclamation 10339 definitively excluded bifacial panels from the safeguard measure for the 2022-2026 extension period, and that exclusion will not be affected by the outcome of the appeal. Proclamation 10339 also directed the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) to negotiate with Mexico and Canada with a view to exempting them; negotiations have concluded successfully with Canada but have not yet produced a result for Mexico.
For our Performance line, the shipments from Mexico that we are currently making and importing to the United States are bifacial panels and excluded as a result of Proclamation 10339. Importation of mono-facial Performance line modules assembled in Mexico, until February 2026, will be subject to safeguard measure unless and until Mexico is exempted. Solar cells and modules based on our interdigitated back contact (“IBC”) technology, like our Maxeon 2, Maxeon 3, Maxeon 5, Maxeon 6 and related products, have enjoyed an exclusion from the safeguard measure since September 2018 and remain exempt.
Anti-Circumvention Inquiry. In February 2022, U.S. module producer Auxin Solar filed an “anti-circumvention” petition asking the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) to expand the coverage of the longstanding U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from China (“China AD/CVD Orders”). Specifically, Auxin’s petition (1) alleged that PV cell and module production in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam is circumventing the China AD/CVD Orders through minor alteration of PRC-origin inputs including silicon wafers, and (2) asked Commerce to bring cells and modules imported from those countries within the scope of the China AD/CVD Orders. Commerce initiated an anti-circumvention inquiry (“ACI”) in April 2022 and published an affirmative preliminary determination on December 8, 2022. However, on December 19, 2022, Commerce issued a memorandum clarifying that modules assembled in (and exported to the United States from) third countries, from cells fabricated in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam, are not covered by the preliminary determination and indeed are not “inquiry merchandise” for purposes of the ACI. Accordingly, Maxeon’s modules assembled in Mexico are unaffected by the ACI.
Section 301 tariffs. In 2017, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) initiated an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 into the PRC government’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation. Starting in 2018, the USTR imposed additional import duties of up to 25% on certain PRC products; those tariffs remain in effect. Relevant affected products include certain solar power system components and finished products, including those purchased from our suppliers for use in our products and used in our business. The United States and China may continue or even escalate the retaliatory measures implemented during the last four years. No effort is currently underway to negotiate an agreement that would serve as a basis for rolling back the United States’ Section 301 tariffs, but those tariffs are currently undergoing a statutorily-required 4-year review whose results are expected to be announced in mid-2023.
Any future imposition of U.S. tariffs that would apply to our Performance line or Maxeon line modules imported from Mexico could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations. More broadly, uncertainty surrounding the implications of existing tariffs affecting the U.S. solar market, trade tensions between China and the United States, changes to international trade policies and other trade and national security regulatory actions could cause market volatility, price fluctuations, supply shortages, and project delays, any of which could harm our business, and our pursuit of mitigating actions may divert substantial resources from other projects. In addition, the imposition of additional tariffs or trade controls could result in a wide range of impacts to the global solar industry and manufacturing market, as well as our business in particular. Such tariffs or trade controls could materially increase the price of our solar products and result in significant additional costs to us, our resellers, and our resellers’ customers, which could cause a significant reduction in demand for our solar power products and adversely affect our competitive position. With the uncertainties associated with the tariffs and Section 301 trade case, events and changes in circumstances have indicated that the carrying values of our long-lived assets associated with our manufacturing operations might not be recoverable.
Our Performance line manufacturing operations in Mexicali, Mexico and Malaysia are primarily intended to supply customers in the U.S. market. Changes to tariffs or import regulations could impact our ability to cost effectively import panels into the United States, and we may not be able to find sufficient demand in other markets that would fully utilize our expanded capacity. In this case, the expected returns from our Mexicali, Mexico and Malaysian operations could be negatively affected.
Our plans to expand into domestic manufacturing in the United States depend on several factors which are beyond our control, including our Department of Energy (“DOE”) Loan Guarantee Application which is currently in the due diligence review stage. There is no assurance that we will be successful in obtaining a loan guarantee from the DOE, or that our efforts to develop a manufacturing facility in the United States will be successful. Additionally, various items that Maxeon might need to import in order to equip and operate manufacturing facilities in the United States could encounter trade restrictions or unusual tariffs above and beyond ordinary customs duties. These could result from measures already in place, such as the China/Section 301 tariffs, or from entirely new legislation or newly launched import relief proceedings. If we do not successfully expand into domestic manufacturing into the United States, we will continue to be subject to tariffs or trade controls affecting the U.S. solar market on imports
into the United States, which could materially increase the price of our solar products and adversely affect our competitive position.
The reduction, modification or elimination of government incentives could cause our revenue to decline and harm our financial results.
The market for on-grid applications, where solar power is used to supplement a customer’s electricity purchased from the utility network or sold to a utility under tariff, depends in large part on the availability and size of government mandates and economic incentives because, at present, the cost of solar power generally exceeds retail electric rates in many locations and wholesale peak power rates in some locations. Incentives and mandates vary by geographic market. Various government bodies in most of the countries where we do business have provided incentives in the form of feed-in tariffs, rebates, and tax credits and other incentives and mandates, such as renewable portfolio standards and net metering, to end-users, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of solar power products to promote the use of solar energy in on-grid applications and to reduce dependency on other forms of energy. For example, on August 16, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”) was signed into law. The IRA consists of several provisions which aims at improving the climate change crisis, among other things, the IRA appropriates approximately $11.7 billion in total for the Loan Programs Office (“LPO”) to support its existing loan programs and add a new loan program, the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) Program (section 1706). In addition, the IRA made a 10-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), allowing a 30% tax exemption of the cost of installed equipment which was instrumental in launching the US solar industry. These various forms of support for solar power are subject to change and are expected in the longer term to decline. Even changes that may be viewed as positive can have negative effects if they result, for example, in delaying purchases that otherwise might have been made before expiration or scheduled reductions in such credits. Governmental decisions regarding the provision of economic incentives often depend on political and economic factors that we cannot predict and that are beyond our control. The reduction, modification or elimination of grid access, government mandates or economic incentives in one or more of our customer markets could materially and adversely affect the growth of such markets or result in increased price competition, either of which could cause our revenue to decline and materially adversely affect our financial results.
Existing regulations and policies and changes to these regulations and policies may present technical, regulatory, and economic barriers to the purchase and use of solar power products, which may significantly reduce demand for our products.
The market for electric generation products is heavily influenced by government laws, regulations and policies concerning the electric utility industry globally, as well as policies promulgated by electric utilities. These regulations and policies often relate to electricity pricing and technical interconnection of customer-owned electricity generation, and changes that make solar power less competitive with other power sources could deter investment in the research and development of alternative energy sources as well as customer purchases of solar power technology, which could in turn result in a significant reduction in the demand for our solar power products. The market for electric generation equipment is also influenced by trade and local content laws, regulations and policies that can discourage growth and competition in the solar industry and create economic barriers to the purchase of solar power products, thus reducing demand for our solar products. In addition, on-grid applications depend on access to the grid, which is also regulated by government entities. We anticipate that our solar power products and their installation will continue to be subject to oversight and regulation in accordance with regulations relating to construction, safety, environmental protection, utility interconnection and metering, trade, and related matters. It is difficult to track the requirements of local jurisdictions and design equipment to comply with the varying standards. For instance, all states in the U.S. regulate investor-owned utility retail electricity pricing. In addition, there are numerous publicly owned utilities and electric cooperatives that establish their own retail electricity pricing through some form of regulation or internal process. These regulations and policies could deter potential customers from purchasing solar power products. Such rate changes can include changing rates to charge lower volume-based rates—the rates charged for KW hours of electricity purchased by a residential customer—while raising unavoidable fixed charges that a homeowner is subject to when they purchase solar energy from third parties, and levying charges on homeowners based on their point of maximum demand during a month (referred to as “demand charge”). These forms of rate design could adversely impact our business by reducing the value of the electricity our solar energy systems produce compared to retail net metering, and reducing any savings customers
realize by purchasing our solar power products. From April 2023, the state of California in the U.S. will be updating its solar net metering policy and the changes are expected to reduce the savings realized from the export of excess solar energy to the grid which may in turn reduce demand for our solar power products in California. In addition to changes in general rates charged to all residential customers, utilities are increasingly seeking solar-specific charges (which may be fixed charges, capacity-based charges, or other rate charges). Any of these changes could materially reduce the demand for our offerings in the U.S. and could limit the number of markets in which our offerings are competitive with electricity provided by the utilities.
In addition, the U.S., European Union and PRC governments, among others, have imposed tariffs or are in the process of evaluating the imposition of tariffs on solar panels, solar cells, polysilicon, and potentially other components. These and any other tariffs or similar taxes or duties may increase the price of our solar products and adversely affect our efforts to reduce costs, which could harm our results of operations and financial condition. Any new regulations or policies pertaining to our solar power products may result in significant additional expenses to us, our resellers and our resellers’ customers, which could cause a significant reduction in demand for our solar power products.
We may incur unexpected warranty and product liability claims that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations, damage our market reputation, and prevent us from maintaining or increasing our market share.
Our standard product warranty for our solar panels and their components includes a 25-year warranty period for defects in materials and for greater than promised declines in power performance. We also provide a 40-year warranty period for certain Maxeon line modules in certain regions, effective for systems installed on or after January 1, 2022. We believe our warranty offering is in line with, or better than, industry practice. These long warranty periods create a risk of extensive warranty claims long after we have shipped product and recognized revenue. We perform accelerated life cycle testing that exposes our products to extreme stress and climate conditions in both environmental simulation chambers and in actual field deployments in order to highlight potential failures that could occur over the 25-year and 40-year warranty periods. We also employ measurement tools and algorithms intended to help us assess actual and expected performance; these attempt to compare actual performance against an expected performance baseline that is intended to account for many factors (like weather) that can affect performance. Although we conduct accelerated testing of our solar panels and components, they have not and cannot be tested in an environment that exactly simulate the 25-year and 40-year warranty periods and it is difficult to test for all conditions that may occur in the field. Further, there can be no assurance that our efforts to accurately measure and predict panel and component performance will be successful. We have sold products under our warranties since the early 2000s and have therefore not experienced the full warranty cycle. As a result of these warranty programs, we bear the risk of product warranty claims long after we have sold our solar modules and recognized revenue from sales.
We maintain reserves to cover the expected costs that could result from these warranties. Increases in the defect rate of our products could cause us to increase the amount of warranty reserves and have a corresponding material and adverse impact on our results of operations. Further, potential future product failures could cause us to incur substantial expense to repair or replace defective products, and we have agreed in some circumstances to indemnify our customers and our distributors against liability from some defects in our solar products. A successful indemnification claim against us could require us to make significant damage payments. Repair and replacement costs, as well as successful indemnification claims, could materially and adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Like other retailers, distributors, and manufacturers of products that are used by customers, we face an inherent risk of exposure to product liability claims in the event that the use of the solar power products into which our solar cells and panels are incorporated results in injury, property damage, or other damages. We may be subject to warranty and product liability claims in the event that our solar power systems fail to perform as expected or if a failure of our solar power systems or any component thereof results, or is alleged to result, in bodily injury, property damage or other damages. Since our solar power products are electricity-producing devices, it is possible that our systems could result in injury, whether by product malfunctions, defects, or other causes. In addition, since we only began selling our solar cells and solar panels in the early 2000s and the products we are developing incorporate new
technologies, we cannot predict the extent to which product liability claims may be brought against us in the future or the effect of any resulting negative publicity on our business. Moreover, we may not have adequate resources, such reserves or insurance, to satisfy a successful claim against us. A successful warranty or product liability claim against us that is not covered by insurance or is in excess of our available insurance limits could require us to make significant payments of damages. In addition, quality issues can have various other ramifications, including delays in the recognition of revenue, loss of revenue, loss of future sales opportunities, increased costs associated with repairing or replacing products, product recalls and a negative impact on our goodwill and reputation, any of which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
Our business could be adversely affected by seasonal trends and construction cycles.
Our business is subject to significant industry-specific seasonal fluctuations. There are various reasons for this seasonality, mostly related to economic incentives and weather patterns. For example, in European countries with feed-in tariffs, the construction of solar power systems may be concentrated during the second half of the calendar year, largely due to the annual reduction of the applicable minimum feed-in tariff and the fact that the coldest winter months in the Northern Hemisphere are January through March, which could lead to declining sales in cold-weather months.
We are currently operating in a period of economic uncertainty and capital markets disruption, which has been significantly impacted by geopolitical instability due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected by any negative impact on the global economy and capital markets resulting from the war in Ukraine or any other geopolitical tensions.
U.S. and global markets are experiencing volatility and disruption following the escalation of geopolitical tensions and the war in Ukraine. Although the length and impact of the ongoing military conflict is highly unpredictable, the continuing conflict and recent developments for the war in Ukraine, geopolitical events, terrorist or other attacks, and war (or threatened war) or international hostilities, such as between Russia and Ukraine, may lead to armed conflict or acts of terrorism around the world, which may contribute to further economic instability in the global financial markets and international commerce. The war in Ukraine may lead to further regional and international conflicts or armed action. This conflict has disrupted supply chains and cause instability in the energy markets and could lead to further market disruptions, including significant volatility in commodity prices, credit and capital markets on a global scale. The United States and the European Union, among other countries, have announced sanctions against Russia, including sanctions targeting the Russian oil sector, among those a prohibition on the import of oil from Russia to the United States. The ongoing war could result in the imposition of further economic sanctions by the United States and the European Union against Russia, with uncertain impacts on the global economy. While much uncertainty remains regarding the global impact of the war in Ukraine, it is possible that such tensions could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. Furthermore, it is possible that third parties, such as our customers and suppliers may be impacted by the war in Ukraine, which could adversely affect our operations. These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain additional financing on terms acceptable to us or at all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on, and may continue to adversely impact, our business, operations, and financial performance, as well as the business operations and financial performance of many of our suppliers, dealers and customers. We are unable to predict the extent to which the pandemic and related impacts may continue to adversely impact our business operations, financial performance, results of operations, financial position, and the achievement of our strategic objectives.
The continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken in response by governments and businesses worldwide to contain its spread have adversely impacted and may continue to adversely impact our supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, workforce and operations, as well as the operations of our suppliers, dealers and customers. There is continued uncertainty regarding the duration, scope and severity of the pandemic, particularly with the emergence of new variants of COVID-19 and periodic spikes in COVID-19 cases in various geographic regions, and the impacts on our business and the global economy from the effects of the pandemic and response measures. Travel and logistics restrictions, lockdowns, vaccine requirements and other measures from time
to time implemented by foreign and domestic authorities have resulted in, and may continue to result in, supply chain and transportation disruptions, production delays and capacity limitations for the Company and some of our suppliers, dealers and customers, as well as reduced workforce availability or productivity, and additional data, information and cyber security risks associated with an extensive workforce working remotely.
The degree to which the pandemic ultimately impacts our business, financial condition and results of operations and the global economy will depend on future developments beyond our control, which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict, including the severity, duration and any resurgence of the pandemic, the extent, duration and effectiveness of periodic lockdowns and other containment actions, the availability, public adoption and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating activity can resume, and the severity and duration of resulting global economic volatility. We believe the most significant elements of uncertainty are the intensity and duration of the impact on project installation by our customers, commercial and consumer spending as well as the ability of our sales channels, supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution to continue to operate with minimal disruption, all of which could negatively impact our financial position, results of operations, cash flows and outlook.
Risks Related to Our Liquidity
Our cash flows have been, and may continue to be, negatively impacted by increases in working capital requirements as a result of supply chain disruptions as well as the general economic environment, cumulatively resulting in increased supply and logistics costs, among other implications.
During the fiscal year 2022 and continuing through the date hereof, we have seen increases in our working capital requirements due to rising input costs, such as logistics and raw materials, and supply chain disruptions, that can be attributed in part to the volatility and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine. The solar industry in general is volatile, which can be attributed in part to these factors. We also attribute increases in our working capital requirements to our development of new supplier relationships and the preparation and ramp up of new production capacities. Our working capital needs may be greater than we currently anticipate if sales and associated receipt of cash proceeds are delayed, payment terms to vendors are shorter than anticipated, credit facilities which we rely on for short-term working capital funding are terminated or not renewed upon expiry, transit times continue to be extended, our costs of supply and logistics continue to increase or if we decide to hold more buffer stocks or accelerate increases in our manufacturing capacity internally or through capital contributions to joint ventures. Any delays in shipment routes caused by COVID-19, the war in Ukraine or other factors, would also lead to more inventory in transit, which may result in delays in delivering our panels on time to customers which would in turn delay the timing of when we would receive payment for our products. See “Risk Factors – Risks Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic” and “Risk Factors – Risks Related to our Supply Chain.” Such supply chain disruptions which are beyond our control have and may continue to impact our working capital commitments. For instance, we have and may continue to expend additional working capital to accumulate more buffer stocks of raw materials, semi-finished or finished goods to anticipate any delays or disruptions in shipping and meet additional shipping and delivery costs associated with a lengthened supply chain due to shipping delays. In particular, to date, our cost of revenue for IBC modules has been negatively impacted by the increase in logistics rates all along the supply chain and the increase in cost of certain raw materials such as glass, silicon, resin and aluminum, and our cost of revenue for Performance line modules that we have begun shipping out of our Mexicali facility face similar negative impacts. Additionally, the Huansheng JV has experienced similar supply chain cost increases for Performance line modules, which in certain cases have been passed along to us.
These conditions may continue or worsen, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be unable to obtain access to external financing necessary to make adequate capital expenditures necessary to improve our profitability, remain competitive and grow our business.
To develop or scale new products, increase our manufacturing capacity, improve profitability, support future growth, achieve operating efficiencies, and maintain product quality, we must make significant capital and other
investments in manufacturing technology, facilities and capital equipment, research and development, and product and process technology. Our manufacturing and assembly activities have required and will continue to require significant investment of capital and substantial engineering expenditures.
For fiscal 2023, we have planned for capital expenditures mainly relating to preparation for capacity expansion for our Maxeon 7 technology, completion of manufacturing capacity for Performance line panels to be sold in the U.S. market, completion of manufacturing capacity for our Maxeon 6 product platform, further development of Maxeon 7 technology and the operation of a pilot line, as well as various corporate initiatives. These manufacturing capacity expansions and product developments are necessary for us to improve our profitability, grow our business and remain competitive.
We have also announced plans to deploy a multi-GW factory in the United States to manufacture solar products for both the distributed generation (“DG”) and utility-scale power plant markets. This investment plan requires significant expenditures and is contingent upon us securing the necessary financing and depends on several factors which are beyond our control, including the approval of our DOE loan guarantee application. There is no assurance that we will be successful in obtaining a final loan guarantee from the DOE. Even if the DOE loan guarantee is approved, we will still have to secure additional financing or otherwise fund these capital expenditures and there is no assurance that we will be able to do so in a timely manner, on favorable terms, or at all. Any additional debt also would need to be permissible under the terms of the indenture for our 7.5% Convertible First Lien Senior Secured Notes due 2027, which limits our ability incur additional indebtedness. See “—A significant portion of our assets, including our intellectual property that we hold outside of the United States, have been pledged as collateral.” Further, any additional debt would result in increased expenses and collateralization and likely impose new restrictive covenants. As at January 1, 2023, we had incurred $1.7 million in securing the financing for this investment plan, which we will not be able to recover if we are unable to secure the necessary financing for this investment plan.
Our failure to secure additional financing would affect our ability to continue to make these planned capital expenditures, which we believe are necessary to grow our business and remain competitive, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The existence of substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet our payment obligations under our debt commitments.
As of January 1, 2023, we had $459.2 million of debt outstanding, comprising mainly of $200.0 million outstanding under the Green Convertible Notes (as defined under “Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources”) , $50.0 million outstanding under the SCB Agreement and $207.0 million debt under the 2027 Notes. Our debt obligations could have material consequences on our future operations, including:
•making it more difficult for us to meet our payment and other obligations under our outstanding debt;
•reducing the availability of our cash flows to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes, and limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for these purposes;
•limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, and increasing our vulnerability to, changes in our business, the industry in which we operate and the general economy; and
•placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared with our competitors that have less debt or have lower leverage ratios.
Our ability to meet our payment and other obligations under our debt instruments depends on our ability to generate significant cash flows, which, to some extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative and regulatory factors as well as other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that our business will generate cash flows from operations, or that future borrowings will be available to us under our existing or any future debt instruments or otherwise, in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our payment obligations under our debt obligations and to fund other liquidity needs. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows to service our debt obligations, we may need to refinance or restructure our debt or seek to raise additional capital. There can be no
assurance that we will be successful in any refinancing or debt restructuring effort.
A significant portion of our assets, including our intellectual property that we hold outside of the United
States, have been pledged as collateral.
We have pledged a significant portion of our assets, including a significant portion of our intellectual property that we hold outside of the United States, as collateral to secure the 2027 Notes, and may pledge other assets to secure other indebtedness. The 2027 Notes’ indenture contains, and other debt instruments we may enter into may contain, covenants that limit our ability to engage in specified types of transactions. These covenants would likely limit our ability to, among other things:
•Incur certain additional indebtedness;
•Make certain investments;
•Sell or dispose of certain assets;
•Grant liens; and
•Consolidate, merge, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets.
A breach of any of these covenants and certain other customary events of default, such as the failure to make principal or interest payment when due, among others, could result in the holders of the 2027 Notes or other indebtedness electing to declare all the outstanding principal amount of 2027 Notes or such other indebtedness, as the case may be, to become immediately due and payable, which could result in a material adverse effect on our financial condition. If we do not have sufficient funds to repay the amounts due under the 2027 Notes or such other indebtedness, the holders thereof may enforce on the relevant collaterals, including potentially the sale or licensing of the intellectual property that we hold outside of the United States, which will likely have a material adverse effect on our business operations and prospects. Events of default under the 2027 Notes or other indebtedness may result in, among other things, restructuring or other insolvency proceedings. In the event of such a proceeding or other reorganization of our debt, our creditors would have priority over our stockholders, and the value of our shares could be eliminated.
We may be unable to raise the funds necessary to repurchase the Green Convertible Notes or 2027
Notes, as applicable, for cash following a fundamental change or pursuant to a mandatory redemption, or to pay any cash amounts due upon conversion.
Holders of our Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes may require us to repurchase their Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable, following a fundamental change at a cash repurchase price generally equal to the principal amount of the Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable to be repurchased, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any. Furthermore, upon conversion of any Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable, we will satisfy part or all of our conversion obligation in cash unless we elect to settle conversions solely in Maxeon shares. We may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to repurchase or redeem the Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable, or pay the cash amounts due upon conversion. In addition, applicable law, regulatory authorities and any new or amendments to existing agreements governing our other indebtedness may restrict our ability to repurchase or redeem the Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable, when required or to pay the cash amounts due upon conversion. Our failure to repurchase or redeem Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable, or to pay the cash amounts due upon conversion when required will constitute a default under the indenture governing the Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes, as applicable. A default under the indentures or the fundamental change itself could also lead to a default under agreements governing our other indebtedness, which may result in that other indebtedness becoming immediately payable in full. We may not have sufficient funds to satisfy all amounts due under our debt agreements.
We may be classified as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 7874 of the Code, which could result in Maxeon being subject to U.S. federal income tax indefinitely.
Section 7874 of the Code may cause a corporation organized outside the United States to be treated as a U.S. corporation (and, therefore, taxable in the United States) unless one or more exceptions apply. The application of Section 7874 of the Code and its various exceptions are complex and subject to factual and legal uncertainties, with respect to some of which the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has yet to issue guidance. Based on facts as they presently exist, we do not expect Section 7874 to apply to us. However, if we were to be treated as a U.S. corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would be subject to U.S. corporate income tax on our
worldwide income and the income of our non-U.S. subsidiaries would be subject to U.S. tax when deemed recognized under the U.S. federal income tax rules for controlled foreign subsidiaries. See “Item 10.E. Taxation—Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Treatment of Maxeon as a U.S. Company for U.S. Federal Income Tax Purposes.”
Failure to meet hiring, capital spending and other requirements to utilize tax incentives provided to us in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, or to avail ourselves of tax incentives in other jurisdictions, could adversely affect our results.
As part of establishing our corporate headquarters in Singapore, we were awarded certain incentives from Singapore’s Economic Development Board (“EDB”). These include favorable tax treatment and other forms of financial and operational support. Such incentives are contingent on our meeting employee hiring and capital expenditure requirements in Singapore. Failure to meet any conditions of our incentives in Singapore may result in us losing any tax benefits provided to us by the EDB, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have benefitted from a tax holiday granted by the Malaysian government, subject to certain hiring, capital spending, and manufacturing requirements. The third and final five-year tranche of this incentive was granted a 70% tax exemption and will expire on June 30, 2026. Malaysian Investment Development Authority ("MIDA") and the Company have been in discussions on additional conditions required to reinstate the full tax exemption that the Company was granted previously. We have agreed to the conditions for such reinstatement with MIDA and are waiting for formal approval from the Malaysian Government. Given the fiscal year 2021 tax returns for our Malaysian subsidiary were due in the third quarter of fiscal year 2022 ended October 2, 2022, and formal approval has not been received, we recorded income tax provisions based on the 70% tax exemption incentive for our Malaysian subsidiary. If we are ever found noncompliant with our final tranche of incentives by MIDA, we could be subject to the 70% tax rate, which could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our Philippine income tax holiday expired in 2020. However, we continue to qualify for a 5% preferential tax rate on gross income attributable to activities covered by our Philippine Economic Zone Authority (“PEZA”) registration. The Philippine net income attributable to all other activities is taxed at the statutory Philippine corporate income tax rate, which is currently 25%. We need to comply with PEZA requirements and be in good standing to utilize the 5% preferential tax rate on gross income.
More generally, with the ongoing discussions around the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation’s (“OECD”) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) study (“Actions”), many OECD countries and members of the inclusive framework on BEPS have acknowledged their intent to support the Actions. Among the considerations required by the Actions is the need for a global minimum tax rate. Depending on the implementation of the said Actions, the Company’s tax incentives may be affected, which outcome may have a negative effect on our financial position, liquidity and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Supply Chain
We will continue to be dependent on a limited number of third-party suppliers for certain raw materials and components for our products, and increases in the costs for, or shortages in the availability of, raw materials and components required for our solar products could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and could in turn result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments, and loss of market share.
We rely on a limited number of third-party suppliers for certain raw materials and components for our solar cells, panels and power systems, such as polysilicon, silicon wafers, inverters and module material. Costs for raw materials and components required for our solar products have been volatile, as a result of limited polysilicon supply, increase in commodities’ prices globally, for instance of glass, aluminum and copper, the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, which have increased the costs and impacted the overall supply of raw materials and components. Certain extraordinary events have in the past, disrupted also our supply chain and resulted in delays in the delivery
of goods, stoppage of delivery and raised prices for the solar industry at large. For example, in September 2021, pursuant to the implementation of a new political strategy adopted in mainland China known as the “dual control of energy consumption policy of China”, local governments initiated control policies on domestic industrial energy consumption. These policies forced numerous factories and plants that produce aluminum, glass, silicon and related materials to cut their productivity dramatically or stop production altogether. This previously unforeseen shortage of power supply in mainland China led to drastically reduced production and significant cost increases of raw materials for the solar industry. See “Risk Factors – Risks Related to our Operations - We depend on our Huansheng JV for a portion of our Performance line solar panels and any failure to obtain sufficient volume or competitive pricing could significantly impact our revenues, ability to grow and damage our customer relationships.” Changes in government trade policies, including with respect to import and export duties, may also increase our costs or reduce availability. If we are unable to mitigate the impacts of our suppliers’ cost increases or supply shortages, we may be unable to manufacture our products, or our products may be available only at a higher cost or after a delay. We may be unsuccessful in achieving higher prices from our customers to compensate for the increased costs, which could have a material and adverse effect on our businesses, financial condition and results of operation.
Additionally, if we fail to maintain our relationships with our suppliers or to build relationships with new suppliers, or if suppliers fail to perform or are unable to meet demand through industry consolidation, our supply chain could be disrupted.
To the extent the processes, materials or technology that our suppliers use to manufacture components are proprietary, we may be unable to obtain comparable components from alternative suppliers. In addition, our suppliers could be unable or unwilling to raise capital if required to expand their production or satisfy their operating capital requirements. As a result, they could be unable to supply necessary raw materials, inventory, finished products, capital equipment or other items required to support our planned sales operations, which could in turn materially and adversely impact our sales volume, profitability, and cash flows. The failure of a supplier to supply raw materials or components at all, on commercially reasonable terms, or according to our quality, quantity, timing, volume and cost requirements could impair our ability to manufacture our products, increase our cost of production or decrease the profitability of our products. If we cannot obtain substitute materials or components on a timely basis or on acceptable terms, we could be prevented from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes.
Any such delays could result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, inability to retain customers, increased manufacturing costs, penalty payments or loss of revenue and market share, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Fluctuations in the demand for our products may cause impairment of long-lived assets or cause us to write off equipment or inventory, and each of these events could materially and adversely affect our financial results.
If the demand for our solar products decreases, our manufacturing capacity could be underutilized, and we may be required to record an impairment of our long-lived assets, including facilities and equipment, which would increase our expenses. In improving our manufacturing processes consistent with our cost reduction roadmap, we may be required to write off equipment that is removed from the manufacturing process. As part of our supply chain management, we may increase inventory levels in an effort to mitigate component shortages or supply chain disruptions. If product demand decreases or we fail to forecast demand accurately, we could be required to write off inventory or record excess capacity charges, which could have a negative impact on our gross margin. Factory-planning decisions may shorten the useful lives of long-lived assets, including facilities and equipment, and cause us to accelerate depreciation. Each of the above events could materially and adversely affect our future financial results.
Risks Related to Our Operations
Our success depends on the continuing contributions of our key personnel and our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel in our industry.
We rely heavily on the services of our key executive officers, and the loss of services of any principal member of our management team could adversely affect our operations. We have invested and continue to invest significant resources in recruiting and developing new members of management following the Spin-off. The competition for qualified personnel is intense in our industry. We may not be successful in attracting and retaining sufficient numbers of qualified personnel to support our anticipated growth. We cannot guarantee that any employee will remain employed with us for any definite period of time since many of our employees, including our key executive officers, serve at-will and may terminate their employment at any time for any reason. In addition, recruiting and retaining qualified personnel for our research and development facilities in Singapore and Silicon Valley is vital to our research and development efforts. There is substantial competition for qualified research personnel, and we may not be able to attract or retain qualified research personnel. Any failure by us to efficiently and effectively recruit and retain key personnel could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We derive a significant portion of our revenues from our largest customers and are subjected to concentration of credit risk.
Historically, we have relied on a limited number of customers for a substantial portion of our revenue. During fiscal year 2022, SunPower accounted for 26.7% of our total revenue and 9.6% of our accounts receivable as of January 1, 2023. Two other customers accounted for at least 10% of accounts receivable as of January 1, 2023 and no other customer accounted for at least 10% of revenue for fiscal year 2022. The loss of any of our significant customers, their inability to perform under their agreements, their default in payment or the renegotiation of any of their agreements, could have a material and adverse effect on our financial results.
Because we rely on key customers for a significant portion of our revenues and accounts receivable, we depend on the creditworthiness of these customers. If the financial condition of our customers declines, our credit risk could increase. Should one or more of our significant customers declare bankruptcy, it could materially and adversely affect the collectability of our accounts receivable and our allowance for credit losses, cash flows and net income.
We entered into a supply agreement with SunPower, effective from February 14, 2022, as amended on January 5, 2023, (the “2022/2023 Supply Agreement”), which terminated and replaced the supply agreement which we entered into with SunPower in connection with the Spin-off pursuant to which we supply SunPower with IBC Modules for use in residential installations in Canada and the United States (excluding Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands) (the “Domestic Territory”). On January 5, 2023, we also entered into a new supply agreement with SunPower (the “2024/2025 Supply Agreement” and together with the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement, the “SunPower Supply Agreements”) pursuant to which we will supply SunPower with Maxeon 6 IBC Modules in the Domestic Territory in 2024 and 2025.
Under the SunPower Supply Agreements, SunPower is required to purchase, and we are required to supply, certain volumes of products during each calendar quarter of their respective terms. The proceeds generated under the SunPower Supply Agreements constitute a material portion of our revenues and margins, and the structure of the SunPower Supply Agreements were negotiated based on prevailing market conditions with volumes established based on SunPower’s forecasted requirements. Should market conditions change prior to the end of term of the respective SunPower Supply Agreement, the performance of our obligations thereunder may materially and adversely affect our revenues and results of operations as compared to terms available in the market with other third parties. We may be under pressure to renegotiate the contract and may be subject to the risk of renegotiation by SunPower. There is also a risk that SunPower may not be able perform its obligations under the SunPower Supply Agreements. Similar to the supply agreement executed at Spin-off, the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement (as amended) also contains fixed pricing for 2022 and 2023 based on the power output (in watts) of the IBC Module, but the pricing has been updated to reflect current market trends. The 2022/2023 Supply Agreement also provides that either party may terminate undelivered volumes of Maxeon 6 IBC Modules during 2023 if the parties fail to reach an agreement adjusting pricing in the event of fluctuations in cost of polysilicon above a specified threshold. There is
no assurance that we will be able to reach an agreement on the pricing in 2023, or that the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement will not be terminated. The 2024/2025 Supply Agreement contains an indexed pricing provision that tracks five production commodities: polysilicon, aluminum, glass, transpacific container freight, and crude oil. Under this provision, the final price paid for the modules may be adjusted if actual commodities’ prices as published in the identified indices differ from agreed baseline values. In the event that adjustments to the final module price result in an increase in or discount to the final module price above certain thresholds, we or SunPower, as the case may be, may have a right to elect to terminate the 2024/2025 Supply Agreement for convenience without penalty or damages subject to certain terms and conditions. If the parties decide to terminate either SunPower Supply Agreement or not to extend the term of either of these agreements, it may take time for us to rebuild customer demand for such products in the United States.
We have significant global activities and customers, which subject us to additional business risks, including logistical complexity and political instability.
Our sales are made to customers in over 100 countries, and similarly a substantial portion of our supply agreements are with supply and equipment vendors distributed globally. We have solar cell and module production lines located at our manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, Mexico, and the Philippines, and at our Huansheng JV, which operates in China.
Risks we face in conducting business on this global scale include:
•difficulty in competing against companies who may have greater financial resources and/or a more effective or established localized business presence and/or an ability to operate with minimal or negative operating margins for sustained periods of time;
•adverse public policies in countries we operate including multiple, conflicting, and changing laws and regulations, export and import restrictions, employment laws, environmental protection, regulatory requirements, international trade agreements, and other government approvals, permits and licenses;
•potential disruptions due to labor disputes;
•difficulties and costs in staffing such as identifying, attracting, training, and retaining qualified sales, technical, research & development and other personnel and managing foreign operations as well as cultural differences;
•relatively uncertain legal systems, including potentially limited protection for intellectual property rights, and laws, changes in the governmental incentives we rely on, regulations and policies which impose additional restrictions on the ability of foreign companies to conduct business in certain countries or otherwise place them at a competitive disadvantage in relation to domestic companies;
•inadequate local infrastructure and developing telecommunications infrastructures;
•financial risks, such as longer sales and payment cycles and greater difficulty collecting accounts receivable;
•currency fluctuations, government-fixed foreign exchange rates, the effects of currency hedging activity, and the potential inability to hedge foreign currency fluctuations;
•political, social and economic instability, including wars, such as the war in Ukraine, acts of terrorism, political unrest, boycotts, curtailments of trade and other business restrictions, as well as natural disasters or outbreaks of disease, such as the existing COVID-19 pandemic;
•trade barriers such as export requirements, tariffs, taxes and other restrictions and expenses, which could increase the prices of our products and make us less competitive in some countries;
•business climates that may have the effect of putting foreign companies at a disadvantage relative to domestic companies; and
•liabilities associated with compliance with laws (for example, foreign anti-bribery laws).
We have a complex organizational structure involving many entities globally. This increases the potential impact of adverse changes in laws, rules and regulations affecting the free flow of goods and personnel, and therefore heightens some of the risks noted above. Further, this structure requires us to effectively manage our international inventory and warehouses. If we fail to do so, our shipping movements may not correspond with product demand and flow. If changes in law, regulations or related interpretations occur, this may result in adverse tax or other consequences affecting our capital structure, intercompany interest rates and legal structure. If we are unable to successfully manage any such risks, any one or more could materially and negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We could be adversely affected by any violations of anti-bribery laws.
The countries in which we operate also have anti-bribery laws, some of which prohibit improper payments to government and non-government persons and entities. Our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws. We operate in parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. In addition, due to the level of regulation in our industry, our entry into new jurisdictions through internal growth or acquisitions requires substantial government contact where norms can differ from standards that exist in the United States and elsewhere. While we implement policies and procedures and conduct training that require and facilitate compliance with these anti-bribery laws, thereby mitigating the risk of violations of such laws, our employees, subcontractors and agents may take actions in violation of our policies and anti-bribery laws. Any such violation, even if prohibited by our policies, could subject us to criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows, and reputation.
If we experience interruptions in the operation of our solar cell or module production lines or in the execution of our manufacturing expansion plans, our revenue and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
If our solar cell or module production lines suffer problems that cause downtime, or our manufacturing expansion plans encounter delays or difficulties in execution, we might be unable to meet our production or capacity expansion targets, which could materially and adversely affect our business.
In order to expand our capacity to produce Performance line shingled module technology for use in the United States market, aimed at large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant markets, we have been expanding our Malaysia cell manufacturing facility to add up to 1.8 GW of mono-PERC solar cells and upgrading our assembly facility in Mexico with equivalent module assembly capacity. We expect to ramp up our production capacity of mono-PERC solar cells to 1.8 GW during 2023. To the extent we are further delayed in our projected production schedule, or fail to achieve our projected production volumes, or fail to renegotiate with customers on revised delivery schedules, we may suffer significant liquidated damages for the volumes we have contractually committed, face additional risks resulting from our failure to meet customers’ demand and significantly impair our plans for entering the large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant markets in the United States and our plans for growth in that market. Delays in the ramp up of our production capacity may also delay or prevent us from achieving our target cost reductions.
The Company is considering adding incremental capacity for the manufacture of Maxeon 7 products rather than retrofitting existing lines. The Company is considering adding this incremental capacity at one of its Philippines cell manufacturing facilities that is currently not in use. We are currently in the process of making the necessary preparations for this capacity expansion and have reserved a portion of our 2023 planned capex for that purpose. We have also announced plans to deploy a multi-GW factory in the United States to manufacture solar products for both the DG and utility-scale power plant markets, contingent upon us securing the necessary funding and other factors beyond our control. If we are able to secure the necessary funding, to the extent we are delayed in our projected
production schedule, or fail to achieve our projected production volumes, our plans for the manufacture of Maxeon 7 products or growth in the United States market may be significantly impaired.
Our manufacturing activities and execution of our manufacturing expansion plans require significant management attention, significant capital expenditures and substantial engineering expenditures.
The success of our manufacturing operations and execution of our manufacturing expansion plans is subject to significant risks including:
•cost overruns, delays, supply shortages, equipment problems and other operating difficulties;
•custom-built equipment may take longer or cost more to engineer than planned and may never operate as designed;
•incorporating first-time equipment designs and technology improvements, which we expect to lower unit capital and operating costs, but which may not be successful;
•our ability to obtain or maintain third-party financing to fund capital requirements;
•difficulties in maintaining or improving our historical yields and manufacturing efficiencies;
•difficulties in protecting our intellectual property and obtaining rights to intellectual property developed by our manufacturing partners;
•difficulties in hiring and retaining key technical, management, and other personnel;
•impacts that may arise from, and actions taken in response to, natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, including the temporary idling of our solar cell and module production lines located at our manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines, and the facilities of our Huansheng JV in China;
•potential inability to obtain, or obtain in a timely manner, financing, or approvals from governmental authorities for operations;
•increased costs and extended timelines for the upgrades of our cell and module production lines to our next-generation technologies; and
•tariffs imposed on imported solar cells and modules which may cause market volatility, price fluctuations, supply shortages, and project delays.
Any of these or similar difficulties may unexpectedly delay or increase costs of our supply of solar cells or costs of execution of our manufacturing expansion plans or delay or prevent us from achieving target cost reductions.
A disruption in our supply chain for silicon wafers could interrupt or impair our ability to manufacture solar cells and modules, including for the United States market, and could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and could in turn result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments, and loss of market share.
A key raw material used in our solar cell and module production process is polysilicon. Xinjiang is the source of a significant percentage of the world’s supply of polysilicon; however in the United States and certain other countries, laws have been enacted or proposed which effectively prohibit imports of any goods made in, or incorporating material made in, Xinjiang, including for example, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which went into effect in the United States on June 21, 2022.
The PRC government has denied the allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang and in June 2021, the PRC government passed the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, allowing Chinese authorities to enact countermeasures on entities they believe have harmed China. While the Company is not subject to such countermeasures, this affected
the global supply of polysilicon and silicon wafers as there are a limited number of third-party suppliers globally that are able to supply polysilicon sourced that can be verified as not being associated with inputs from Xinjiang.
The Company purchases silicon wafers for use in the manufacture of its solar cells and modules. See “Item 7.B. Related Party Transactions – Agreements with TZE - Silicon Wafer Master Supply Agreement.” The Company is committed to maintaining compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and hence it is limited to working with third party suppliers of silicon wafers made from polysilicon sourced outside of Xinjiang and not otherwise made with inputs from forced labor.
Given the scarcity of polysilicon which has been sourced from outside of Xinjiang, its price has remained high even though the global supply of polysilicon has increased significantly, and the average price of polysilicon has decreased.
The Company may also experience interruption to its supply of silicon wafers due to, amongst other reasons:
•such third party suppliers may not be able to meet our production needs consistently or on a timely basis;
•compared with us, some of our competitors who also purchase polysilicon or silicon wafers from our suppliers have longer and stronger relationships with, and have greater buying power and bargaining leverage over, some of our key suppliers;
•such third party suppliers of silicon wafers may not be able to themselves source polysilicon from outside of Xinjiang, on commercially reasonable terms or at all;
•such third party suppliers may not be able to provide us sufficient verifiable information for us to be able to prove to authorities in the United States or elsewhere that the sources of our silicon wafers are compliant with applicable laws and regulations; and
•our supply of silicon wafers is subject to the business risk of our suppliers, and one or more of which could go out of business for reasons beyond our control.
Our failure to obtain the required amounts of silicon wafers incorporating polysilicon that meets our requirements, in a timely manner and on commercially reasonable terms, could increase our manufacturing costs and substantially limit our ability to meet our contractual obligations to our customers. Any failure by us to meet such obligations could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, ability to retain customers, market share, business and results of operations and may subject us to claims from our customers and other disputes. Furthermore, our failure to obtain sufficient would result in under-utilization of our production facilities and an increase in our marginal production costs. Any of the above events could have a material adverse effect on our growth, profitability and results of operations.
If we do not achieve satisfactory yields or quality in manufacturing our solar products, our sales could decrease and our relationships with our customers and our reputation may be harmed.
The manufacture of solar cells is a highly complex process. Minor deviations in the manufacturing process can cause substantial decreases in yield and in some cases, cause production to be suspended or yield no output. If we do not achieve planned yields, our product costs could increase and product availability could decrease, which could result in lower revenues than expected. In addition, in the process of transforming polysilicon into ingots, a significant portion of the polysilicon is removed in the process. In circumstances where we provide the polysilicon, if our suppliers do not have very strong controls in place to ensure maximum recovery and utilization, our economic yield can be less than anticipated, which could increase the cost of raw materials to us.
Additionally, products as complex as ours may contain undetected errors or defects, especially when first introduced. For example, our solar cells or solar panels may contain defects that are not detected until after they are shipped or are installed because we cannot test for all possible scenarios. These defects could cause us to incur significant warranty, non-warranty, recall and re-engineering costs, divert the attention of our engineering personnel from product development efforts, and significantly affect our customer relations and business reputation. If we deliver solar products with errors or defects, including cells or panels of third-party manufacturers, or if there is a
perception that such solar products contain errors or defects, our credibility and the market acceptance and sales of our products could be harmed. We could also be required to implement product recalls under applicable law, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We obtain certain of our capital equipment used in our manufacturing process from sole suppliers and if this equipment is damaged or otherwise unavailable, our ability to deliver products on time could suffer, which in turn could result in order cancellations and loss of revenue.
Some of the capital equipment used in the manufacture of our solar power products has been developed and made specifically for us, is not readily available from multiple vendors and would be difficult to repair or replace if it were to become damaged or stop working. If any of these suppliers were to experience financial difficulties or go out of business, or if there were any damage to or a breakdown of our manufacturing equipment, our business could suffer. In addition, a supplier’s failure to supply this equipment in a timely manner, with adequate quality and on terms acceptable to us, could delay our future capacity expansion or manufacturing process improvements and otherwise disrupt our production schedule or increase our costs of production.
Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
We have significant sales globally, and we are exposed to movements in foreign exchange rates, primarily related to sales to European customers that are denominated in Euros. Depreciation of the Euro would adversely affect our margins on sales to European customers. In addition, we have manufacturing operations in Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines, and are subject to the risks of the respective currency fluctuations of these countries as we purchase supplies and incur other operational expenses in local currencies. We also purchase Performance line solar panels from our Huansheng JV in China for which the expenses are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. When foreign currencies appreciate against the dollar, inventories and expenses denominated in foreign currencies become more expensive. An increase in the value of the dollar relative to foreign currencies could make our solar power products more expensive for international customers, thus potentially leading to a reduction in demand, and impacting our sales and profitability. As a result, substantial unfavorable changes in foreign currency exchange rates could have a material and adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Although we seek to reduce our currency exposure by engaging in hedging transactions where we deem it appropriate, we do not know whether our efforts will be successful. Because we hedge some of our expected future foreign exchange exposure, if associated revenues do not materialize, we could experience losses. In addition, any break-up of the Eurozone could disrupt our sales and supply chain, expose us to financial counterparty risk, and materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We are exposed to interest rate risk because many of our customers depend on debt financing to purchase our solar power systems. Additionally, due to recent increases in inflation, certain governmental authorities responsible for administering monetary policy have recently increased, and are likely to continue to increase, applicable central bank interest rates. For example, U.S. Federal Reserve raised various interest rates during 2022 including US Federal Reserve Interest on Reserve Balances to 4.4 percent effective December 15, 2022. An increase in the benchmark rate would result in an increase in market interest rates. An increase in interest rates could make it difficult for our customers to obtain the financing necessary to purchase our solar power systems on favorable terms, or at all, and thus lower demand for our solar power products, reduce revenue and adversely affect our operating results. An increase in interest rates could lower a customer’s return on investment in a system or make alternative investments more attractive relative to solar power systems, which, in each case, could cause our customers to seek alternative investments that promise higher returns or demand higher returns from our solar power systems, which could reduce our revenue and gross margin and adversely affect our operating results. Our interest expense would increase to the extent interest rates rise in connection with our variable interest rate borrowings. If in the future we have a need for significant borrowings and interest rates increase, our cost of capital would increase which may lower our margins. Conversely, lower interest rates have an adverse impact on our interest income.
We may be unable to successfully implement price increases to offset inflation and, as a result, our businesses and financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We have experienced rising inflationary pressures since 2021. Cost inflation, including increases in ocean container rates, raw material prices, labor rates, energy and domestic transportation costs threaten to impact our profitability and our ability to recover these cost increases through price increases may continue to lag, resulting in downward pressure on our margins. To date, our cost of revenue for our solar power products has been negatively impacted by the increase in cost of certain raw materials such as glass, silicon, and aluminum. In certain of our supply agreements, including the 2024/2025 Supply Agreement with SunPower, we have introduced an indexed pricing provision that tracks five production commodities: polysilicon, aluminum, glass, transpacific container freight, and crude oil (the “indexed pricing provision”). Under this contractual provision, the final price paid for the modules may be adjusted if actual commodities’ prices as published in the identified indices on the first calendar day of the prior quarter differ from agreed baseline values. Subject to an agreed allowance for any commodity price fluctuations, the negative impact to our cost of revenue by cost inflation would be reduced as higher commodity pricing will require the final module price to be adjusted higher; while lower commodity pricing will require a discount to the final module price. We and our counterparties to these supply agreements have the right to elect to terminate the supply agreement for convenience without penalty or damages if the adjustments to the module price exceed an agreed threshold. We will only be able to realize the benefits of this indexed pricing provision if our costs for the raw materials track the values of such commodities in the identified indices closely. If we incur costs for raw materials that significantly exceed the values of the commodities in the identified indices, we may not be able to recover our costs to the extent that they exceed such values in the identified indices. There can be no assurance that in circumstances where adjustments to the module price exceed an agreed threshold, we will be willing or able to reach an agreement on pricing with our counterparty and avoid termination of the supply agreement. Should any of these supply agreements be terminated, our businesses and financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Under the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement, as amended, fixed pricing was established for 2022 and updated for 2023, and either party may terminate undelivered volumes of Maxeon 6 IBC Modules during 2023 if the parties fail to reach an agreement adjusting pricing in the event of fluctuations in cost of polysilicon above a specified threshold. The 2024/2025 Supply Agreement contains the indexed pricing provision described above. In the event that adjustments to the final module price result in an increase in or discount to the final module price above certain thresholds, we or SunPower, as the case may be, may have a right to elect to terminate the 2024/2025 Supply Agreement for convenience without penalty or damages subject to certain terms and conditions. Should this occur, there can be no assurance that we will be able to reach an agreement on pricing with SunPower and should either SunPower Supply Agreement be terminated, our businesses and financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected. See “Risk Factors – Risks Related to Our Operations - We derive a significant portion of our revenues from our largest customers and are subjected to concentration of credit risk.” Any price increases we undertake are also limited by the selling prices of our competitors, and as our selling prices are currently already higher than a number of our competitors, it would be challenging to further increase our pricing whilst still maintaining our competitiveness. Any attempts to offset cost increases with price increases may also result in reduced sales, increase customer dissatisfaction or otherwise harm our reputation. Conversely, while any increase in electricity rates as a result of inflationary pressures could cause our products to become more competitive by comparison, there is no assurance that this will result in a corresponding positive impact on our revenue.
Our use of joint ventures may expose us to risks associated with jointly owned investments.
We currently operate parts of our business through joint ventures with other companies, and we may enter into additional joint ventures and strategic alliances in the future. Joint venture investments may involve risks not otherwise present in investments made solely by us, including:
•we may not control the joint ventures;
•our joint venture partners may not agree to distributions that we believe are appropriate;
•where we do not have substantial decision-making authority, we may experience impasses or disputes with our joint venture partners on certain decisions, which could require us to expend additional resources to resolve such impasses or disputes, including litigation or arbitration;
•our joint venture partners may become insolvent or bankrupt, fail to fund their share of required capital contributions or fail to fulfil their obligations as a joint venture partner;
•the arrangements governing our joint ventures may contain certain conditions or milestone events that may never be satisfied or achieved;
•our joint venture partners may have business or economic interests that are inconsistent with ours and may take actions contrary to our interests;
•we may suffer losses as a result of actions taken by our joint venture partners with respect to our joint venture investments;
•it may be difficult for us to exit a joint venture if an impasse arises or if we desire to sell our interest for any reason; and
•we may make capital investments in our joint ventures, which may limit our ability to apply our resources to other endeavors that we find attractive, or decide not to participate in capital investments with our joint venture partners which may result in the dilution of our ownership and corresponding impact to our decision-making authority and share of future profits or losses.
Any of the foregoing risks could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we may, in certain circumstances, be liable for the actions of our joint venture partners.
We depend on our Huansheng JV for a portion of our Performance line solar panels and any failure to obtain sufficient volume or competitive pricing could significantly impact our revenues, ability to grow and damage our customer relationships.
We rely upon our Huansheng JV for a portion of our Performance line modules. Huansheng operates as a standalone entity and we have significantly less oversight and control over its assembly and testing capacity, delivery schedules, quality assurance, manufacturing yields and production costs than if we operated as a vertically integrated business. With a single supply source other than our own production, we are more exposed to risks relating to costs, quality control and supply chain management than if we sourced from multiple suppliers. If the operations of our joint venture were disrupted or its financial stability impaired, or if it was unable or unwilling to devote supply to us in a timely manner, or at competitive prices, our costs could be impacted and our business could suffer. Events that disrupt production include the recent polysilicon plant fires, flooding and COVID-19 that impacted the overall supply of raw materials and components. This disruption in the supply chain has resulted in risks of delays in the delivery of goods, stoppage of delivery and raised prices for the solar industry at large. The increase in prices of raw materials such as aluminum, glass and silicon, as well as module-supply from Huansheng as a result of raw materials price increase increased our costs and diminished our profitability, and had a material and adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation. The impact of this disruption is compounded by the effects of COVID-19 on supply chains generally. See the Risk Factor titled “The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on, and may continue to adversely impact, our business, operations, and financial performance, as well as on the business operations and financial performance of many of our suppliers, dealers and customers. We are unable to predict the extent to which the pandemic and related impacts will continue to adversely impact our business operations, financial performance, results of operations, financial position, and the achievement of our strategic objectives.”. Currently, we are unable to foresee the extent of the impact such measures will have on our business, financial condition and results of operations or for how long such measures will be implemented by the PRC governments. We will continue to assess the situation and take steps as necessary to lessen the impact of these measures on our business. We also risk customer delays resulting from an inability to move module production to an alternate provider, and it may not be possible to obtain sufficient capacity or comparable production costs at another facility in a timely manner. In addition, migrating our design methodology to third-party contract manufacturers or to a captive panel assembly facility could involve increased costs, resources and development time, and utilizing third-party contract manufacturers could expose us to further risk of losing control over our intellectual property and the quality of our solar panels. Any reduction in the supply of solar panels could impair our revenue by significantly delaying our ability to ship products and potentially damage our relationships
with new and existing customers, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation.
While we believe we currently have effective internal control over financial reporting, we may identify a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting that could cause investors to lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements and result in a decrease in the value of our shares.
Our management is responsible for maintaining internal control over financial reporting designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of combined financial statements for external purposes in accordance with GAAP. They are also responsible, in accordance with the Singapore Companies Act, for keeping accounting and other records that will sufficiently explain the transactions and financial position of Maxeon, establishing true and fair financial statements to be prepared from time to time and maintaining that records be kept in such manner as to enable them to be conveniently and properly audited. We need to continuously maintain our internal control processes and systems and adapt them as our business grows and changes. This process is expensive, time-consuming, and requires significant management attention. Furthermore, as we grow our business, our internal controls may become more complex and we may require significantly more resources to ensure they remain effective. Failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. If we or our independent registered public accounting firm identify material weaknesses in our internal controls, the disclosure of that fact, even if quickly remedied, may cause investors to lose confidence in our financial statements and the trading price of our shares may decline.
Remediation of a material weakness could require us to incur significant expense and if we fail to remedy any material weakness, our financial statements may be inaccurate, our ability to report our financial results on a timely and accurate basis may be adversely affected, our access to the capital markets may be restricted, the trading price of our shares may decline, and we may be subject to sanctions or investigation by regulatory authorities, including the SEC or NASDAQ. We may also be required to restate our financial statements from prior periods.
We may in the future be required to consolidate the assets, liabilities and financial results of certain of our existing or future joint ventures, which could have an adverse impact on our financial position, gross margin, and operating results.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued accounting guidance regarding variable interest entities (“VIEs”) that could affect our accounting treatment of our existing and future joint ventures. To ascertain whether we are required to consolidate an entity, we determine whether it is a VIE and if we are the primary beneficiary in accordance with the accounting guidance. Factors we consider in determining whether we are the VIE’s primary beneficiary include the decision-making authority of each partner, which partner manages the day-to-day operations of the joint venture and each partner’s obligation to absorb losses or right to receive benefits from the joint venture in relation to that of the other partner. Although we presently do not have any VIE arrangements, other than in Philippines, for which we consolidate SPML Land Inc., there is no assurance that we will not enter into similar VIE arrangements or make other similar forms of equity investments in the future.
Changes in the financial accounting guidance, or changes in circumstances at each of these joint ventures, could lead us to determine that we have to consolidate the assets, liabilities and financial results of such joint ventures. The consolidation of our VIEs could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, gross margin and operating results and could significantly increase our indebtedness. In addition, we may enter into future joint ventures or make other equity investments, which could have an adverse impact on us because of the financial accounting guidance regarding VIEs.
Our manufacturing facilities, as well as the facilities of certain subcontractors and suppliers, are located in regions that are subject to epidemic or pandemic events, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, and climate change and climate change regulation that could have an adverse effect on our operations and financial results.
Our manufacturing facilities are located in Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines, and our Huansheng JV operates in China. Any significant epidemic or pandemic (including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic), earthquake,
flood, or other natural disaster in these countries or countries where our suppliers are located could materially disrupt our operations and/or our production capabilities, could result in damage or destruction of all or a portion of our facilities and could result in our experiencing a significant delay in delivery, or substantial shortage, of our products and services. For example, ash and debris from volcanic activity at the Taal Volcano in the Philippines forced closures and evacuations of nearby areas in January 2020 and impacted our employees. In addition, certain modified business practices taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have affected our ability to conduct our business operations around the globe. Over the course of 2022, different variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant and the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, have led to increased incidence of COVID-19 around the world prompting continued quarantine measures. Given that our Huansheng JV operates in China, we have been subject to disruptions in our operations and supply chain as a result of COVID-19 related disruptions in China. There is no assurance that future outbreaks of COVID-19 will not materially impact our manufacturing operations in the future. See the Risk Factor titled “The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on, and may continue to adversely impact, our business, operations, and financial performance, as well as on the business operations and financial performance of many of our suppliers, dealers and customers. We are unable to predict the extent to which the pandemic and related impacts will continue to adversely impact our business operations, financial performance, results of operations, financial position, and the achievement of our strategic objectives.”
In addition, legislators, regulators, and non-governmental organizations, as well as companies in many business sectors, are considering ways to reduce green-house gas emissions. Further regulation could be forthcoming with respect to green-house gas emissions. Such regulations could result in regulatory or product standard requirements for our global business, including our manufacturing operations. Furthermore, the potential physical impacts of climate change on our operations may include changes in weather patterns (including floods, tsunamis, drought and rainfall levels), water availability, storm patterns and intensities, and temperature levels. These potential physical effects may materially and adversely affect the cost, production, sales and financial performance of our operations.
Compliance with environmental regulations can be expensive, and noncompliance with these regulations may result in adverse publicity and potentially significant monetary damages and fines.
We use, generate and discharge toxic, volatile, and otherwise hazardous chemicals and wastes in our research and development and manufacturing activities and are subject to extensive environment laws and regulations at the international level. These environmental laws and regulations include those governing the discharge of pollutants into the air and water, the use, management, and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes, the cleanup of contaminated sites, and occupational health and safety. As we operate in jurisdictions worldwide, our environmental compliance burden may continue to increase both in terms of magnitude and complexity. We have incurred and may continue to incur significant costs in complying with these laws and regulations if we cannot secure a waiver therefrom. Any failure by us to control the use of, or to restrict adequately the discharge of, hazardous substances could subject us to, among other matters, potentially significant monetary damages and fines or liabilities or suspensions in our business operations. In addition, if more stringent laws and regulations are adopted (and we cannot get a waiver therefrom), the costs of compliance with these new laws and regulations could be substantial. For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed climate change disclosure rules that, if adopted, would impact disclosures U.S. publicly listed companies would have to make in accordance with Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Exchange Act. If we fail to comply with present or future environmental laws and regulations, we may be required to pay substantial fines, suspend production or cease operations, or be subjected to other sanctions.
Our insurance for certain indemnity obligations we have to our officers and directors may be inadequate, and potential claims could materially and negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Pursuant to our constitution (the “Constitution”), and to the extent permitted by the Singapore Companies Act and applicable laws, we will indemnify our officers and directors for certain liabilities that may arise in the course of their service to us. Although we currently maintain director and officer liability insurance for certain potential third-party claims for which we are legally or financially unable to indemnify them, such insurance may be inadequate to cover certain claims, or may prove prohibitively costly to maintain in the future. In addition, we may choose to primarily self-insure with respect to potential third-party claims. If we were required to pay a significant amount on account of these liabilities for which we self-insured, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be materially harmed.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
We depend on our intellectual property, and we may face intellectual property infringement claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend and could result in the loss of significant rights.
From time to time, we, our customers, or our third parties with whom we work may receive letters, including letters from other third parties, and may become subject to lawsuits with such third parties alleging infringement of their patents or other intellectual property rights. Additionally, we are required by contract to indemnify some of our customers and our third-party intellectual property providers for certain costs and damages of patent infringement in circumstances where our products are a factor creating the customer’s or these third-party providers’ infringement liability. This practice may subject us to significant indemnification claims by our customers and our third-party providers. We cannot assure investors that indemnification claims will not be made or that these claims will not harm our business, operating results or financial condition. Intellectual property litigation is very expensive, unpredictable and time-consuming, could divert management’s attention from our business, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition. If there is a successful claim of infringement against us, our customers or our third-party intellectual property providers, we may be required to pay substantial damages to the party claiming infringement, stop making, using, selling, importing or exporting products or technology that contain the allegedly infringing intellectual property, remove such products or technology from use, or enter into royalty or license agreements that may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all. Any judgments requiring equitable or legal remedies could materially damage our business. We may have to develop non-infringing technology, and our failure in doing so or in obtaining licenses to the proprietary rights on a timely basis could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may file or continue to pursue claims against other parties for infringing our intellectual property that may be very costly and may not be resolved in our favor.
To protect our intellectual property rights and to maintain our competitive advantage, we may file or continue to pursue suits against parties who we believe infringe or misappropriate our intellectual property. Intellectual property litigation is very expensive, unpredictable and time consuming, could divert management’s attention from our business, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, or financial condition. Moreover, our enforcement efforts may not be successful and may not result in anticipated outcomes. In addition, the validity of our patents may be challenged in such litigation. Our participation in intellectual property enforcement actions may negatively impact our financial results.
Our business is subject to a variety of U.S. and foreign data protection regulations regarding personal data, privacy, and related matters.
We are subject to U.S. and foreign data protection regulations, including laws, rules, policies, and other obligations, relating to the collection, use, retention, security, and transfer of the personal data or personally identifiable information (collectively, “PII”) of data subjects, including our customers, end-users of our products, employees and other third parties with whom we interact. We are subject to a variety of data protection regulations, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), the Personal Data Protection Act of Singapore, the Data Privacy Act in the Philippines, the Personal Data Protection act in Malaysia, and the Privacy Act in Australia.
These data protection regulations apply to various activities relating to the PII, including third-party transactions, international transfers, transfers between one company and its subsidiaries, and transfers among the subsidiaries and other parties with which we have commercial relations. The introduction of new products or expansion of our activities, including PII data processing, in certain jurisdictions may subject us to additional requirements under the data protection regulations. Some data protection regulations, such as the GDPR, can be more restrictive than others. Data protection regulations are constantly evolving and can be subject to significant change, and we may be subject to future data protection regulations. In addition, the application and interpretation of the data protection regulations are often uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate, and may be interpreted and applied inconsistently by data protection authorities and inconsistently with our current policies and practices. Existing, proposed and future data protection regulations could be costly to
comply with and could delay or impede the development of new products, result in negative publicity, increase our operating costs, require significant management time and attention, require significant changes to our products or business activities, and subject us to inquiries or investigations, claims or other remedies, including fines, which may be significant, or demands that we modify or cease existing business practices, including subject product or service offerings.
A failure by us, our suppliers, or other parties with whom we do business to comply with data protection regulations, data processing agreements, or privacy policies could result in proceedings against us by governmental entities, individual data subjects or others, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We rely substantially upon trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary rights, and, if these rights are not sufficiently protected, our ability to compete and generate revenue, profit and cash flows could suffer.
We seek to protect our proprietary manufacturing processes, documentation, and other written materials primarily under trade secret and copyright laws. We also typically require employees, consultants, and third parties, such as our suppliers, vendors and customers, with access to our proprietary information to execute confidentiality agreements. The steps we take to protect our proprietary information may not be adequate to prevent misappropriation of our technology. Our systems may be subject to intrusions, security breaches, or targeted theft of our trade secrets. In addition, our proprietary rights may not be adequately protected because:
•others may not be deterred from misappropriating our technologies despite the existence of laws or contracts prohibiting such misappropriation and information security measures designed to deter or prevent misappropriation of our technologies;
•policing unauthorized use of our intellectual property may be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, the remedy obtained may be inadequate to restore protection of our intellectual property, and moreover, we may be unable to determine the extent of any unauthorized use; and
•the laws of other countries in which we market our solar products, such as some countries in the Asia/Pacific region, may offer little or no protection for our proprietary technologies.
Reverse engineering, unauthorized copying, or other misappropriation of our proprietary technologies could enable third parties to benefit from our technologies without compensating us for doing so. Litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our trade secrets, or determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. We cannot ensure that the outcome of such potential litigation will be in our favor, and such litigation may be costly and may divert management attention and other resources away from our business.
An adverse determination in any such litigation may impair our intellectual property rights and may harm our business, prospects, and reputation. Our joint ventures, partners and suppliers may not be deterred from misappropriating our proprietary technologies despite contractual and other legal restrictions. Legal protection in countries where our joint ventures, partners and suppliers are located may not be robust and enforcement by us of our intellectual property rights may be difficult. As a result, our joint ventures, partners and suppliers could directly compete with our business. Any such activities or any other inabilities to adequately protect our proprietary rights could harm our ability to compete, to generate revenue, profit and cash flows, and to grow our business.
We may not obtain sufficient patent protection on the technology embodied in the solar products we currently or plan to manufacture and market, which could harm our competitive position and increase our expenses.
Although we substantially rely on trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect the technology in the solar products we currently manufacture and market, our success and ability to compete in the future may also depend to a significant degree upon obtaining patent protection for our proprietary technology. We currently own multiple patents and patent applications which cover aspects of the technology in the solar cells and solar panels that
we currently manufacture and market. We intend to continue to seek patent protection for those aspects of our technology, designs, and processes that we believe provide significant competitive advantages.
Our patent applications may not result in issued patents, and even if they result in issued patents, the patents may not have claims of the scope we seek or we may have to refile patent applications due to newly discovered prior art. In addition, any issued patents may be challenged, invalidated, or declared unenforceable, or even if we obtain an award of damages for infringement by a third party, such award could prove insufficient to compensate for all damages incurred as a result of such infringement, and we may not be able to secure an injunction to prevent the third party from continuing such infringement.
The term of any issued patent is generally 20 years from its earliest filing date and if our applications are pending for a long time period, we may have a correspondingly shorter term for any patent that may issue. Our present and future patents may provide only limited protection for our technology and may be insufficient to provide competitive advantages to us. For example, competitors could develop similar or more advantageous technologies on their own or design around our patents. Also, patent protection in certain non-U.S. countries may not be available or may be limited in scope and any patents obtained may not be readily enforceable because of insufficient judicial effectiveness or evidence gathering, making it difficult for us to aggressively protect our intellectual property from misuse or infringement by other companies in these countries. Our inability to obtain and enforce our intellectual property rights in some countries may harm our business. In addition, given the costs of obtaining patent protection, we may choose not to protect certain innovations in general or in specific geographies that later turn out to be important.
We may not be able to prevent others from using trademarks in connection with their solar power products, which could adversely affect the market recognition of our name and our revenue, profits and cash flows.
We hold registered trademarks for MAXEON, SUNPOWER and other marks in certain countries, including, in the case of MAXEON, the United States. We have not registered, and may not be able to register, trademarks in important or valuable countries. In jurisdictions where we are unable to obtain or have not tried to obtain registrations, others may sell or advertise products (or engage in other activities) using trademarks or brands that compromise, mimic, copy, incorporate or are similar to our trademarks or brands, which could lead to customer confusion and impact our business. In addition, if there are jurisdictions where another proprietor has already established trademark rights that conflict with our rights, interests or activities, then we may face trademark disputes and we may have to market our products with other trademarks or without our existing brands or trademarks, which may undermine our marketing efforts. In addition, we may have difficulty in establishing strong brand recognition with consumers if others use similar marks for similar products.
Pursuant to a brand framework agreement with SunPower, SunPower assigned to us the non-U.S. SUNPOWER trademarks and SunPower retained ownership of its SUNPOWER trademarks in the U.S. and a limited license to the SUNPOWER trademarks in Canada. We market solar panels under the SUNPOWER or MAXEON brand based on our trademark rights and agreements with SunPower. We face risks of such products being negatively associated with the SUNPOWER or MAXEON brand if any negative publicity were to be incurred against these brands, including negative publicity that is not within our control or based on our activities.
Risks Related to Cybersecurity
We may be subject to breaches of information technology systems utilized by us or our suppliers, vendors, customers and other third parties with whom we conduct business, which could impact our business or our business data, lead to disclosure of our internal information, damage our reputation or relationships with suppliers or customers, disrupt access to our online services, and impact our operations. Such breaches could subject us to significant reputational, financial, legal, and operational consequences.
Our business requires us to use, store, and share with certain third parties with whom we conduct business confidential and proprietary information, intellectual property, commercial banking information, information and personal data concerning customers, end users, employees, and business partners, and corporate information
concerning internal processes and business functions. Malicious attacks to gain access to such information affects many companies across various industries, including ours.
In many instances, we use encryption and authentication technologies to secure the transmission and storage of data, and multi-factor authentication to access certain systems. These security measures may be compromised as a result of third-party security breaches, employee error, malfeasance, faulty password management, or other irregularity or malicious effort, and result in persons obtaining unauthorized access to our data.
We devote resources to network security, data encryption, access control, and other security measures to protect our systems and data, but these security measures cannot provide absolute security. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently, target end users through phishing, social engineering, and other malicious techniques, and/or may be difficult to detect for long periods of time, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. As a result, we have experienced breaches of our systems in the past, and we may experience a breach of our systems in the future that reduces our ability to protect sensitive data. In addition, hardware, software, or applications we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information security. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to gain access to our systems or facilities or the systems or facilities of third parties with whom we conduct business through fraud, trickery or other forms of deceiving team members, contractors and temporary staff. If we or a third party with whom we conduct business experience, or are perceived to have experienced, a significant data security breach, fail to detect and appropriately respond to a significant data security breach, or fail to implement disclosure controls and procedures that provide for timely disclosure of data security breaches deemed material to our business, including corrections or updates to previous disclosures, we could be exposed to a risk of loss, increased insurance costs, remediation and prospective prevention costs, damage to our reputation and brand, litigation and possible liability, or government enforcement actions, any of which could detrimentally affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
We also share information with contractors and third-party providers to conduct our business. In particular, we rely on cloud service providers and face the risks of security breaches emanating from these platforms and interruptions to 24/7 access and the operational availability of such platforms, which will disrupt key business processes. While we generally review and typically request or require such contractors and third-party providers to implement security measures, such as encryption and authentication technologies to secure the transmission and storage of data, those third-party providers may experience a significant data security breach, which may also detrimentally affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition as discussed above.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of our employees who are capable of performing their function remotely have adopted a hybrid work arrangement., which may exacerbate the aforementioned cybersecurity risks. See the Risk Factor titled “The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on, and may continue to adversely impact, our business, operations, and financial performance, as well as on the business operations and financial performance of many of our suppliers, dealers and customers. We are unable to predict the extent to which the pandemic and related impacts will continue to adversely impact our business operations, financial performance, results of operations, financial position, and the achievement of our strategic objectives. ”
We may be subject to information technology system failures or network disruptions that could damage our business operations, financial conditions, or reputation.
We may be subject to information technology system failures and network disruptions. These may be caused by natural disasters, accidents, power disruptions, telecommunications failures, acts of terrorism or war, computer viruses, physical or electronic break-ins, or similar events or disruptions. System redundancy may be ineffective or inadequate, and our disaster recovery planning may not be sufficient for all eventualities. Such failures or disruptions could result in delayed or canceled orders. System failures and disruptions could also impede the manufacturing and shipping of products, delivery of online services, transactions processing, and financial reporting.
Risks Related to the Separation from SunPower
Our historical financial information is not necessarily representative of the results we would have achieved as a standalone public company and may not be a reliable indicator of our future results.
Our historical financial statements for the periods prior to the Spin-off on August 26, 2020 have been derived (carved out) from SunPower consolidated financial statements and accounting records, and these financial statements and the other historical financial information of Maxeon included in this Form 20-F are presented on a combined basis. This combined information does not necessarily reflect the financial position, results of operations and cash flows we would have achieved as a standalone public company during the period presented, or those that we will achieve in the future.
This is primarily because of the following factors:
•For the period covered by our combined financial statements, our business was operated within legal entities which hosted portions of other SunPower businesses.
•Income taxes attributable to our business were determined using the separate return approach, under which current and deferred income taxes are calculated as if a separate tax return had been prepared in each tax jurisdiction. Actual outcomes and results could differ from these separate tax return estimates, including those estimates and assumptions related to realization of tax benefits within certain SunPower tax groups.
•Our combined financial statements include an allocation and charges of expenses related to certain SunPower functions such as those related to financial reporting and accounting operations, human resources, real estate and facilities services, procurement and information technology. However, the allocations and charges may not be indicative of the actual expense that would have been incurred had we operated as an independent, publicly traded company for the period presented therein.
•Our combined financial statements include an allocation from SunPower of certain corporate-related general and administrative expenses that we would incur as a publicly traded company that we have not previously incurred. The allocation of these additional expenses, which are included in the combined financial statements, may not be indicative of the actual expense that would have been incurred had we operated as an independent, publicly traded company for the period presented therein.
•Our combined financial statements include an allocation of interest expense from SunPower of $12.2 million, related to SunPower’s 4.00% debentures due 2023 for which the proceeds were used to finance our solar cell manufacturing facility in the Philippines which relates to our historical business. This cost may not be indicative of the actual expense that would have been incurred had we operated as an independent, public company for the period presented nor for future periods, with interest expenses arising from our own debt facilities.
•In connection with the Spin-off, we incurred one-time costs after the consummation of the Spin-off relating to the transfer of information technology systems from SunPower to us.
Therefore, our historical financial information may not necessarily be indicative of our future financial position, results of operations or cash flows, and the occurrence of any of the risks discussed in this “Risk Factors” section, or any other event, could cause our future financial position, results of operations or cash flows to materially differ from our historical financial information.
SunPower could suffer significant tax liability as a result of the Spin-off, and in certain circumstances, we could be required to indemnify SunPower for material taxes pursuant to indemnification obligations under the Tax Matters Agreement. In addition, we have agreed to certain restrictions designed to preserve the tax treatment of the Spin-off that may reduce our strategic and operating flexibility.
In connection with the Spin-off, SunPower received a written opinion from SunPower’s counsel (the “Tax Opinion”) to the effect that the distributions of shares made in connection with the Spin-off should not result in any
recognition of gain and loss to (and no amount should be includible in the income of) SunPower shareholders under Section 355 of the Code.
The Tax Opinion was based on certain facts, assumptions and representations from, and undertakings by, SunPower and us and other relevant parties. The failure of any factual representation or assumption to be true, correct, and complete, or any undertaking to be fully complied with, could affect the validity of the Tax Opinion. The Tax Opinion will not be binding in any court, and there can be no assurance that the relevant tax authorities or any court will not take a contrary position. In addition, the Tax Opinion was based on current law, and cannot be relied upon if current law changes with retroactive effect.
If the Spin-off distribution is determined not to qualify for the treatment described in the Tax Opinion, or if any conditions in the Tax Opinion are not observed, then SunPower could suffer adverse U.S. withholding tax consequences and, under certain circumstances, we could have an indemnification obligation to SunPower with respect to some or all of the resulting tax to SunPower under the tax matters agreement we entered into with SunPower.
In addition, under the tax matters agreement, we have agreed to certain restrictions designed to preserve the tax-free nature of the distribution for U.S. federal income tax purposes to SunPower shareholders. These restrictions may limit our ability to pursue strategic transactions or engage in new businesses or other transactions that might be beneficial and could discourage or delay strategic transactions that our shareholders may consider favorable.
Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Shares
TotalEnergies’s and TZE’s significant ownership of our shares may adversely affect the liquidity and value of our shares.
As of January 1, 2023, TotalEnergies (as defined under “Item 4.A. History and Development of the Company”) and its affiliates own approximately 24.4% of the voting power of outstanding Maxeon shares and TZE owns approximately 24.0% of the voting power of outstanding Maxeon shares. At their current shareholding, TotalEnergies and TZE possess significant influence and control over our affairs. On August 17, 2022, we issued our 2027 Notes, all of which were initially purchased by TZE. To the extent TZE converts the 2027 Notes held by it into Maxeon shares, then its voting power of the outstanding Maxeon shares, and its already significant influence over our affairs, in particular, will increase. TotalEnergies and/or TZE may have different interests than other Maxeon shareholders on matters which may affect our operational and financial decisions. As long as each of TotalEnergies and TZE own a significant percentage of our shares, the ability of our other shareholders to influence matters requiring shareholder approval will be limited. On November 1, 2022, TotalEnergies filed a Schedule 13D/A indicating that they have classified the Maxeon shares which they hold as “held-for-sale” for financial reporting purposes based on, among other things, TotalEnergies’ management’s plan to sell such shares in one or more transactions within twelve months of the issuance of the financial statements of the TotalEnergies’group (the “TotalEnergies’ Future Share Divestment”). In the event that TotalEnergies elects to sell its shares to a single purchaser, that purchaser would possess similarly significant influence and control over our affairs. Among other things, TotalEnergies and/or TZE’s influence could delay, defer or prevent a sale of Maxeon that other shareholders support, or, conversely, this influence could result in the consummation of such a transaction that other shareholders do not support. This concentrated influence could discourage potential investors from seeking to acquire Maxeon shares and, as a result, might harm the market price of Maxeon shares.
If a substantial number of Maxeon shares become available for sale and are sold in a short period of time, the market price for our shares could experience volatility and/or decline.
Each of TotalEnergies and TZE have the ability to sell a substantial number of Maxeon shares. We filed a registration statement on Form F-3 (File No. 333-268309), which was declared effective on November 23, 2022, pursuant to which each of TotalEnergies and TZE may offer and re-sell the Maxeon shares which they own and the Maxeon shares which may be issued on conversion of the 2027 Notes including ordinary shares issuable upon conversion of any PIK Notes (as defined herein) or, subject to certain conditions, by directly issuing ordinary shares in lieu of cash payment of interest (“Interest Payment Ordinary Shares”), assuming payment of all amounts due
with respect to the remaining 4.0% of interest payable as payable-in-kind interest or as Interest Payment Ordinary Shares. If our existing significant shareholders sell substantial amounts of Maxeon shares in the market, including pursuant to the TotalEnergies’ Future Share Divestment, the market price of Maxeon shares could decrease significantly. The disclosure of the TotalEnergies’ Future Share Divestment and any perception in the market that our other existing significant shareholders might sell shares could also depress our share price. A decline in the price of Maxeon shares may impede our ability to raise capital through the issuance of additional shares or other equity securities.
Your percentage ownership in Maxeon may be diluted in the future.
In the future, we may issue additional shares in connection with capital markets transactions, acquisitions or otherwise, including equity awards that we will be granting to our directors, officers and employees and conditional capital we hold for purposes of our employee participation plans. For instance, in April 2021, pursuant to the TZS Private Placement (as defined under “Item 4.A. History and Development of the Company”), Maxeon sold to TZE 1,870,000 ordinary shares at $18.00 per share. See “Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources - Current Sources of Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
The conversion of some or all of the Green Convertible Notes and the 2027 Notes will dilute the ownership interests of existing shareholders. In particular, to the extent TZE SG continues to hold all or a portion of the 2027 Notes, upon the conversion of such notes, TZE SG may receive additional Maxeon shares pursuant to the terms of 2027 Notes thereby increasing its ownership interests and voting power, which will consequently dilute the ownership interests of other, existing shareholders. See “—TotalEnergies’s and TZE’s significant ownership of our shares may adversely affect the liquidity and value of our shares.” Additionally, in connection with the Green Convertible Notes, Maxeon granted to TZE SG an option to purchase an amount of Maxeon shares that would allow TZE SG to maintain its percentage ownership of outstanding Maxeon shares following any conversion of the Green Convertible Notes as compared to its percentage ownership existing immediately prior to any such conversion. See “Item 7.B. Related Party Transactions—Dilution Protection Agreement.” Any sales in the public market of the shares issuable upon conversion of the Green Convertible Notes and the 2027 Notes could adversely affect prevailing market prices of our shares. In addition, the existence of the Green Convertible Notes and the 2027 Notes may encourage short selling by market participants because the conversion of the Green Convertible Notes and/ or the 2027 Notes could depress the price of our shares.
Furthermore, the Compensation Committee of the Maxeon Board has and it is anticipated that it will continue to grant equity awards to our employees and directors, from time to time, under our employee benefits plans. These additional awards will have a dilutive effect on our earnings per share, which could adversely affect the market price of our shares.
The effect of the Physical Delivery Forward and Prepaid Forward, which were entered into in connection with the issuance of our Green Convertible Notes, may affect the value of Maxeon shares and may result in unexpected market activity in Maxeon shares.
In connection with the issuance of the Green Convertible Notes, we entered into a Physical Delivery Forward with a Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty with respect to the Physical Delivery Maxeon Shares (all defined terms under “Note 11. Debt and Credit Sources” to our consolidated and combined financial statements”). Pursuant to the Physical Delivery Forward, the Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty agreed to deliver such Physical Delivery Maxeon Shares to us or a third-party trustee designated by us for no consideration at or around the maturity of the Green Convertible Notes. The delivery of such Physical Delivery Maxeon Shares is subject to the conditions set forth in the agreements governing the Physical Delivery Forward, including receipt of required shareholder approvals on an annual basis and subject under Singapore law to an aggregate limit of 20% as of the date of the annual shareholder purchase approval (calculated together with the number of ordinary shares to be purchased in connection with the Prepaid Forward).
In connection with the issuance of the Green Convertible Notes, we entered into a Prepaid Forward (as defined under “Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources – Current Sources of Liquidity and Capital Resources”) with an affiliate of one of the initial purchasers, pursuant to which we will repurchase 2.5 million Maxeon shares, subject to
the conditions set forth in the agreements governing the Prepaid Forward, including receipt of required shareholder approvals on an annual basis. Under the terms of the Prepaid Forward, the Prepaid Forward Counterparty (as defined under “Note 11. Debt and Credit Sources” to our consolidated and combined financial statements) will be obligated to deliver the number of Maxeon shares underlying the transaction to us, or pay cash to the extent we fail to provide to Prepaid Forward Counterparty evidence of a valid shareholder authorization, on or shortly after the maturity date of the Green Convertible Notes, subject to the ability of the Prepaid Forward Counterparty to elect to settle all or a portion of the transaction early.
We may not be able to obtain requisite shareholder approvals to take back the shares under the Physical Delivery Forward or Prepaid Forward at the maturity date or earlier subject to noteholders’ request for conversion of the Green Convertible Notes.
In addition, the Prepaid Forward Counterparty (or its affiliates) are likely to modify their hedge positions in respect of the Prepaid Forward by entering into or unwinding various derivative transactions with respect to Maxeon shares and/or by purchasing Maxeon shares or other securities of us in secondary market transactions prior to maturity of the Prepaid Forward.
The effect, if any, of any of these transactions, events and activities on the market price of Maxeon shares will depend in part on market conditions and cannot be ascertained at this time, but any of these activities could adversely affect the value of Maxeon shares.
We are subject to counterparty risk with respect to the Prepaid Forward and the Physical Delivery Forward.
Each of the Prepaid Forward Counterparty and the Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty is a financial institution, and we will be subject to the risk that either or both might default under the Prepaid Forward and/or the Physical Delivery Forward. Our exposure to the credit risk of the Prepaid Forward Counterparty and/or the Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty is not secured by any collateral. Global economic conditions have from time to time resulted in the actual or perceived failure or financial difficulties of many financial institutions, including the bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and its various affiliates. If the Prepaid Forward Counterparty or the Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty becomes subject to insolvency proceedings, we will become an unsecured creditor in those proceedings with a claim equal to our exposure at that time under our transactions with the Prepaid Forward Counterparty or the Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty. Our exposure will depend on many factors, but, generally, the increase in our exposure will be correlated with increases in the market price or the volatility of Maxeon shares. In addition, upon a default by the Prepaid Forward Counterparty or the Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty, we may suffer adverse tax consequences and may experience more dilution than currently anticipated with respect to Maxeon shares. We can provide no assurances as to the financial stability or viability of the Prepaid Forward Counterparty or the Physical Delivery Forward Counterparty.
We do not intend to pay dividends on our shares and no assurance can be given that we will pay or declare dividends in the future.
For the foreseeable future, we intend to retain any earnings to finance the development of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our shares, and no assurance can be given that we will pay or declare dividends in the future. The Maxeon Board may, in its discretion, recommend the payment of a dividend in respect of a given fiscal year. However, the declaration, timing, and amount of any dividends to be paid by us following the Spin-off will be subject to the approval of our shareholders at the relevant Annual General Meeting of shareholders. The determination of the Maxeon Board as to whether to recommend a dividend and the approval of any such proposed dividend by our shareholders, will depend upon many factors, including our financial condition, earnings, corporate strategy, capital requirements of our operating subsidiaries, covenants, legal requirements and other factors deemed relevant by the Maxeon Board and shareholders. See “Item 10.B. Memorandum and Articles of Association—Dividends” for more information.
We may issue additional Maxeon shares, other equity or equity-linked or debt securities, which may materially and adversely affect the price of the Maxeon shares.
We may issue additional equity, equity-linked or debt securities for a number of reasons, including to finance our operations and business strategy (including in connection with expansion of our manufacturing capacity, acquisitions, strategic collaborations or other transactions), to satisfy our obligations for the repayment of existing indebtedness, to adjust our ratio of debt to equity, or for other reasons. Any future issuances of equity securities or equity-linked securities could substantially dilute the interests of our existing shareholders and may materially and adversely affect the price of Maxeon shares. We cannot predict the timing or size of any future issuances or sales of equity, equity-linked or debt securities, or the effect, if any, that such issuances or sales, may have on the market price of Maxeon shares. Market conditions could require us to accept less favorable terms for the issuance of our securities in the future.
The market price for Maxeon shares has been, and may in the future continue to be, volatile.
The market price for Maxeon shares has been highly volatile and subject to wide fluctuations. During the period from August 26, 2020, the first day on which Maxeon shares were listed on NASDAQ, until January 1, 2023, the market price of Maxeon shares ranged from $7.48 to $57.97 per share. The market price of Maxeon shares may continue to be volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to a wide variety of factors, including the factors discussed in this risk factors section and the following:
•announcements of new products by us or our competitors;
•technological breakthroughs in the solar and other renewable power industries;
•reduction or elimination of government subsidies and economic incentives for the solar industry;
•news regarding any gain or loss of customers by us;
•news regarding recruitment or loss of key personnel by us or our competitors;
•announcements of competitive developments, acquisitions or strategic alliances in our industry;
•the operating and stock price performance of other companies, other industries and other events or factors beyond our control;
•the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on us and the national and global economies;
•regulatory developments in our target markets affecting us, our customers or our competitors;
•announcements regarding patent litigation or the issuance of patents to us or our competitors;
•announcements of studies and reports relating to the conversion efficiencies of our products or those of our competitors;
•actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly results of operations;
•changes in financial projections or estimates about our financial or operational performance by securities research analysts;
•changes in the economic performance or market valuations of other solar power technology companies;
•release or expiry of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding shares;
•sales or perceived sales of additional shares or Green Convertible Notes or 2027 Notes;
•commencement of, or our involvement in, litigation;
•speculative trading practices by certain market participants;
•actual or purported “short squeeze” trading activity;
•trading of our shares, which can have an outsized impact on our stock price given the limited public float;
•fluctuations in the exchange rates;
•rising interest rates;
•general market conditions or other developments affecting us or our industry; and
•changes in the general condition of the global economy and credit markets.
Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the volume and price at which our shares will trade.
On some occasions, our stock price may be, or may be purported to be, subject to “short squeeze” activity. A “short squeeze” is a technical market condition that occurs when the price of the stock increases substantially, forcing market participants who have taken a position that its price would fall (i.e. who had sold the stock “short”), to buy it, which in turn may create significant, short-term demand for the stock not for fundamental reasons, but rather due to the need for such market participants to acquire the stock in order to forestall the risk of even greater losses. A “short squeeze” condition in the market for a stock can lead to short-term conditions involving very high volatility and trading that may or may not track fundamental valuation models. Market disruptions such as the various U.S. key market-wide circuit breakers since March 9, 2020 triggered by concerns over economic slowdown led to historic drops for the U.S. capital markets. These market fluctuations may also have a material adverse effect on the market price of our shares. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of their stock, many companies have been the subject of securities class action litigation. If we become involved in similar securities class action litigation in the future, it could result in substantial costs and diversion of our management’s attention and resources and could harm our stock price, business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the stock market in general, and NASDAQ and the securities of technology companies and solar companies in particular, have experienced severe price and volume fluctuations. These trading prices and valuations, including our own market valuation and those of companies in our industry generally, may not be sustainable. These broad market and industry factors may decrease the market price of our shares, regardless of our actual operating performance. Because the Green Convertible Notes and 2027 Notes are convertible into our shares (and/or cash equivalent to the value of our shares), volatility or depressed share prices could have a similar effect on the trading price of the Green Convertible Notes and 2027 Notes.
Securities analysts may not publish favorable research or reports about our business or may publish no information at all, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
The trading market can be influenced to some extent by the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us and our business. We do not control these analysts. As a foreign private issuer, the analysts who publish information about Maxeon shares may have had relatively little experience with us or our industry, which could affect their ability to accurately forecast our results and could make it more likely that we fail to meet their estimates. If any of the analysts who cover us provide inaccurate or unfavorable research or issue an adverse opinion regarding our stock price, our stock price could decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports covering us regularly, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline and result in the loss of all or a part of your investment in us.
We are a foreign private issuer and, as a result, we are not subject to U.S. proxy rules and are subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company.
Since the consummation of the Spin-off, we have been reporting under the Exchange Act as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including (i) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act, (ii) the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time and (iii) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information, or current reports on Form 8-K, upon the occurrence of specified significant events. In addition, foreign private issuers are not required to file their annual report on Form 20-F until four months after the end of each financial year, while U.S. domestic issuers that are large accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year. Foreign private issuers are also exempt from the Regulation FD, aimed at preventing issuers from making selective disclosures of material information. In addition, as a foreign private issuer, we are also entitled to rely on exceptions from certain corporate governance requirements of the NASDAQ.
As a result of the above, you may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are not foreign private issuers.
As a foreign private issuer, we are permitted and expect to follow certain home country corporate governance requirements in lieu of certain NASDAQ requirements applicable to domestic issuers.
As a foreign private issuer, we are permitted to, and intend to, follow certain home country corporate governance requirements in lieu of certain NASDAQ requirements. Following our home country corporate governance requirements, as opposed to the requirements that would otherwise apply to a U.S. company listed on the NASDAQ, may provide less protection than is afforded to investors under the NASDAQ rules applicable to domestic issuers.
In particular, we follow home country requirements instead of NASDAQ requirements otherwise applicable to U.S. companies regarding:
•NASDAQ’s requirement that a majority of the Maxeon Board be “independent” as defined by the NASDAQ rules. Singapore law does not impose a similar requirement.
•NASDAQ’s requirement that an issuer provide for a quorum as specified in its bylaws for any meeting of the holders of ordinary shares, which quorum may not be less than 33 1/3% of the outstanding shares of an issuer’s voting ordinary shares. Singapore law does not impose a similar requirement and our Constitution provides that two members of Maxeon present shall constitute a quorum for a general meeting.
•NASDAQ’s requirement that all members of our Compensation Committee be “independent” as defined in the NASDAQ rules. While the Maxeon Board has established a Compensation Committee, Singapore law does not require us to maintain such a committee and does not require a majority of such committee to be independent directors. Similarly, Singapore law does not require that we disclose information regarding third-party compensation of our directors or director nominees.
•NASDAQ’s requirement that our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee be “independent” as defined in the NASDAQ rules. Singapore law does not require a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee to be comprised entirely of independent directors, and nominations of persons for election to the Maxeon Board will be recommended by our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee whose members are not all independent directors as defined by the NASDAQ rules.
•NASDAQ’s requirement that issuers obtain shareholder approval prior to the issuance of securities in connection with certain acquisitions, changes of controls or private placements of securities, or the establishment or amendment of certain stock option, purchase or other compensation plans. Under Singapore law, new shares may be issued only with the prior approval of our shareholders in a general meeting. Approval, if granted, shall continue in force until the earlier of:
•the conclusion of the next annual general meeting after the date on which the approval was given; and
•the expiration of the period within which the next annual general meeting after that date is required by law to be held.
Any such approval may be revoked or varied by the company in a general meeting.
We may lose our foreign private issuer status, which would then require us to comply with the Exchange Act’s domestic reporting regime and cause us to incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses.
We became a foreign private issuer as of the date of the Spin-off and therefore we are not required to comply with all of the periodic disclosure and current reporting requirements of the Exchange Act applicable to U.S. domestic issuers. In order to maintain our status as a foreign private issuer, either (a) a majority of our shares must be directly or indirectly owned of record by non-residents of the United States or (b)(i) a majority of our executive officers or directors may not be U.S. citizens or residents, (ii) more than 50% of our assets cannot be located in the United States and (iii) our business must be administered principally outside the United States. If pursuant to the TotalEnergies Future Share Divestment or sales of our shares by any of our other existing significant shareholders, the majority of our shares are no longer directly or indirectly owned of record by non-residents of the United States, and we are unable to meet any of the other requirements to qualify as a foreign private issuer, then we will lose our foreign private issuer status.
If we were to lose our foreign private issuer status, we would be required to comply with the Exchange Act reporting and other requirements applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, which are more detailed and extensive than the requirements for foreign private issuers. For instance, we would be required to make changes in our corporate governance practices in accordance with various SEC and NASDAQ rules. The regulatory and compliance costs to us under U.S. securities laws when we would be required to comply with the reporting requirements applicable to a U.S. domestic issuer could be significantly higher than the costs we will incur as a foreign private issuer. As a result, a loss of foreign private issuer status could increase our legal and financial compliance costs and could make some activities highly time-consuming and costly. If we were required to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, it could make it more difficult and expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we could be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These rules and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of the Maxeon Board.
New rules and regulations impacting public companies may strain our resources, divert management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain qualified board members.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of NASDAQ on which Maxeon shares are traded and other applicable securities rules and regulations. The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and other regulators have and continue to propose and adopt new rules and regulations and make additional changes to existing regulations that require our compliance. Shareholder activism, the current political environment and the current high level of government intervention and regulatory reform may lead to substantial new regulations and disclosure obligations, which may lead to additional compliance costs and impact, in ways we cannot currently anticipate. For example on December 14, 2022, the SEC adopted amendments to Rule 10b5-1 under the Exchange Act. The amendments add new conditions for the availability of the affirmative defense to insider trading liability provided by the use of 10b5-1 plans. In addition, on March 21, 2022
the SEC proposed rule changes that would require registrants to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports, including information about climate-related risks that are reasonably
likely to have a material impact on their business, results of operations, or financial condition, and certain climate-related financial statement metrics in a note to their audited financial statements. Finally, NASDAQ listed companies are now required to comply with the NASDAQ board diversity disclosure rules. We anticipate that we will incur considerable costs and expenses associated with complying with the proposed climate-related rules if they are adopted by the SEC, as well as other rules and regulations implemented by the SEC and the NASDAQ, particularly if we no longer qualify as a “foreign private issuer.” We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time-consuming and costly, while also diverting some of management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities. Furthermore, these rules and regulations could make it more difficult or more costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. The impact of these requirements could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as executive officers. If we fail to comply with these rules and regulations, we could be subject to a number of penalties, including the delisting of our Maxeon shares, fines, sanctions or other regulatory action or civil litigation.
We may be classified as a passive foreign investment company, which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. Holders of our shares.
Based upon, among other things, the nature of our business, the current and anticipated valuation of our assets and the composition of our income and assets, we do not believe we were a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes for the taxable year ended January 1, 2023 and we do not expect to be treated as a PFIC for the current taxable year or in the foreseeable future. However, the application of the PFIC rules is subject to uncertainty in several respects. In addition, a separate determination must be made after the close of each taxable year as to whether we were a PFIC for that year. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will not be a PFIC for our current, or any future, taxable year. A non-U.S. corporation will generally be a PFIC for any taxable year if either (i) at least 75.0% of its gross income for such year is passive income or (ii) at least 50.0% of the value of its assets (based on an average of the quarterly values of the assets) during such year is attributable to assets that produce passive income or are held for the production of passive income. For this purpose, we will be treated as owning our proportionate share of the businesses and earning our proportionate share of the income of any other business in which we own, directly or indirectly, at least 25.0% (by value) of the stock. Because the value of our assets for purposes of the PFIC test will generally be determined in part by reference to the market price of our shares, fluctuations in the market price of the shares may cause us to become a PFIC. In addition, changes in the composition of our income or assets may cause us to become a PFIC. As a result, dispositions of operating companies could increase the risk that we become a PFIC. If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder holds our shares, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences could apply to such U.S. Holder. For further information on such U.S. federal income tax implications, see “Item 10.E. Taxation—Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Foreign Investment Company.”
Risks Related to Doing Business in China
Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system, which continues to evolve, including with respect to the enforcement of laws and the possibility of changes of rules and regulations with little or no advance notice, could materially and adversely affect us.
We participate in panel manufacturing operations through our Huansheng JV in China with TZE. These operations are generally subject to laws and regulations applicable to foreign investment in China and, in particular, laws applicable to wholly foreign-owned enterprises and joint venture companies. In addition, the corporate governance and business activities of Huansheng JV are subject to the general PRC company law and contract law, respectively.
The PRC legal system is based on written statutes. Prior court decisions may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value. Since 1979, PRC legislation and regulations have significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investments in China. However, since these laws and regulations are relatively new and the PRC legal system is still developing, the implementation and enforcement of many laws, regulations and rules may be inconsistent, which may limit legal protections available to us, especially under the international
legal framework. Changes in PRC law could negatively affect our current agreements and important business rights including use of our intellectual property, our capacity allocation rights and our exclusive territorial sales rights. In addition, any litigation in China may be protracted and may result in substantial costs and divert our resources and the attention of our management.
Even though, currently, we and our Huansheng JV are not subject to PRC laws relating to the collection, use, sharing, retention, security, and transfer of confidential and private information, such as personal information and other data, these laws continue to develop, and the PRC government may adopt other rules and restrictions in the future. Non-compliance could result in penalties or other significant legal liabilities. For example, the Cybersecurity Law, the Cybersecurity Review Measures and the PRC’s Data Security Law impose regulations, review and conditions on the storage, security, purchase, collection and use of personal information and important data collected and generated by a critical information infrastructure operator (“CIIO”) in the course of its operations in China, including on the purchase of data affecting national security. While we believe our business and the business of our Huansheng JV do not currently include the type of activities subject to this regulation, uncertainty remains about the final content of these and other regulations, interpretation and implementation, and various other implications. It also remains uncertain whether any future regulatory changes would impose additional restrictions on companies like us and our Huansheng JV.
We conduct limited operations in China with about 45 employees as of January 1, 2023, and participate in panel manufacturing operations through our Huansheng JV with TZE, and generated revenues from sales in PRC of $20.3 million for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2023, which represents 1.9% of our total revenue for the period. There is a risk that the PRC government may intervene or negatively influence our operations at any time. While we believe that the recent statements or regulatory actions by the relevant organs of the PRC government, including statements relating to the PRC Data Security Law, the Draft Measures, the PRC Personal Information Protection Law, guidance related to capital raising outside of the PRC through VIEs as well as the anti-monopoly enforcement actions, should not have any material adverse impact on our ability to conduct our existing business operations, there is no guarantee that this will continue to be the case or that the PRC government will not seek to intervene or negatively influence the operations of our Huansheng JV or our operations at any time. If certain PRC laws and regulations, including existing laws and regulations and those enacted or promulgated in the future, were to become applicable to a company such as us in the future, the application of such laws and regulations may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We cannot predict the extent of such impact if such events were to occur.
Changes in political and economic policies of the PRC government could have a material adverse effect on the overall economic growth of China, which could materially and adversely affect our competitive position.
We conduct operations in China through our participation in panel manufacturing operations through our Huansheng JV in China with TZE. In addition, a portion of our sales are made in China and our revenue generated from sales in China was $20.3 million for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2023, representing 1.9% of our total revenue for period.
Accordingly, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects are affected significantly by economic, political and legal developments in China. The PRC economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including:
•the level of government involvement;
•the level of development;
•the growth rate;
•the control of foreign exchange; and
•the allocation of resources.
While the PRC economy has grown significantly in the past 30 years, the growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures benefit the overall PRC economy, but may have a negative effect on us.
The PRC economy has been transitioning from a planned economy to a more market-oriented economy. Although in recent years the PRC government has implemented measures emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets and the establishment of sound corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of the productive assets in China is still owned by the PRC government. The PRC government, including at both the national and local levels, has exercised and continues to exercise substantial control over virtually every sector of the PRC economy via regulation and state ownership. The PRC government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth through allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy,limiting financing options of private businesses, controlling energy consumption and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PRC Government implemented stringent containment measures in an effort to control the outbreak in line with its “Dynamic Zero-COVID” policy, including businesses and public service closures, transport suspension and periodic lockdowns in various cities and regions across China. More recently, the PRC Government has relaxed its “Dynamic Zero-COVID” policy and a relaxation of these containment measures has led to a spike in infection in the community. These changes in implementation of the PRC Government’s “Dynamic Zero-COVID” policy have led to fluctuations of labor due to infections and previously, travel and other restrictions and shipment delays due to transportation interruptions. See “We depend on our Huansheng JV for our Performance line solar panels and any failure to obtain sufficient volume or competitive pricing could significantly impact our revenues, ability to grow and damage our customer relationships.”
Future governmental actions, including any decision not to continue to support recent economic reforms and/or to return to a more centrally planned economy, regional or local variations in the implementation of such economic policies, or new, stricter regulations or interpretations of existing regulations could significantly affect economic conditions in China and materially impair our ability to conduct our panel manufacturing through our Huansheng JV within China or conduct sales into China, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We cannot predict whether changes in China’s political, economic and social conditions, laws, regulations and policies will have any material adverse effect on our current or future business, financial condition and results of operations.
Allegations of forced labor, the implementation of laws both recently enacted and proposed against the use of forced labor, and customer sentiment as a result of this issue, could have an adverse impact on our business.
Measures addressing the use of forced labor in the global solar supply chain by the United States and other countries are disrupting global solar supply chains and our operations could be adversely impacted. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, in effect in the United States from June 21, 2022 creates a rebuttable presumption that imports of any goods made either wholly or in part in Xinjiang have been produced with forced labor. That presumption is rebuttable if the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) determines, based on “clear and convincing evidence”, that the goods in question were not produced “wholly or in part by forced labor”, and submits a report to the U.S. Congress setting out its findings. Polysilicon has been identified as a high priority for the CBP, with other critical inputs including aluminum coming under scrutiny.
Other jurisdictions have also been enacting similar legislation, or are in the process of doing so. For instance, Germany’s Supply Chain Due Diligence Act forbidding forced labor in supply chains went into effect on January 1, 2023. The European Union and Australia both have legislative initiatives to ban importation of goods produced with forced labor underway, with the European Commission publishing a legislative proposal to ban products made with forced labor on September 14, 2022 and Australia expected to update its Modern Slavery Act in 2023.
Maxeon maintains policies and procedures, including conducting due diligence and audits on suppliers (and their suppliers throughout the supply chain to the original source of the raw materials to the extent practicable) to maintain compliance with all relevant laws and regulations, and is, to its knowledge, in compliance with all applicable laws. Our supply chain mapping has not identified any source or supplier from the Xinjiang region.
However, these laws may impact Maxeon’s imports into the United States and elsewhere as the standards applied are evolving, raising new challenges for traceability and compliance throughout complex supply chains.
Allegations of forced labor may also affect customer sentiment and tarnish the reputation of the solar industry as a whole and thereby have an adverse effect on our business. Our due diligence procedures for our suppliers are regularly reviewed, and form the basis of our belief that our solar products are not produced with forced labor. If, despite these procedures, allegations of forced labor are made against our solar products, this may impact Maxeon’s imports into the United States and elsewhere, tarnish our reputation and adversely impact our business.
Risks Related to Being a Singapore Company
It may be difficult to enforce a judgment of U.S. courts for civil liabilities under U.S. federal securities laws against us, our directors or officers in Singapore.
We are incorporated under the laws of Singapore and certain of our officers and directors are or will be residents outside of the United States. Moreover, most of our assets are located outside of the United States. Although we are incorporated outside of the United States, we have agreed to accept service of process in the United States through our agent designated for that specific purpose.
There is no treaty in force between the United States and Singapore providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, such that a final judgment for the payment of money rendered by any federal or state court in the United States based on civil liability, whether or not predicated solely upon the federal securities laws, would, therefore, not be automatically enforceable in Singapore. Additionally, there is doubt whether a Singapore court may impose civil liability on us or our directors and officers who reside in Singapore in a suit brought in the Singapore courts against us or such persons with respect to a violation solely of the federal securities laws of the United States, unless the facts surrounding such a violation would constitute or give rise to a cause of action under Singapore law. Accordingly, it may be difficult for investors to enforce against us, our directors or our officers in Singapore, judgments obtained in the United States which are predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States.
We are incorporated in Singapore and our shareholders may have greater difficulty in protecting their interests than they would as shareholders of a corporation incorporated in the United States.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our Constitution and by the laws governing companies incorporated in Singapore. The rights of our shareholders and the responsibilities of the members of the Maxeon Board under Singapore law are different from those applicable to a corporation incorporated in the United States. Therefore, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interest in connection with actions taken by our management or members of the Maxeon Board than they would as shareholders of a corporation incorporated in the United States.
Singapore corporate law may impede a take-over of our company by a third party, which could adversely affect the value of our shares.
The Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers (the “Singapore Take-overs Code”) and Sections 138, 139 and 140 of the Securities and Futures Act 2001 of Singapore contain certain provisions that may delay, deter or prevent a future takeover or change in control of our company for so long as we remain a public company with more than 50 shareholders and net tangible assets of S$5 million (approximately $4 million USD) or more. Any person acquiring an interest, whether by a series of transactions over a period of time or not, either on his own or together with parties acting in concert with such person, in 30% or more of our voting shares, or, if such person holds, either on his own or together with parties acting in concert with such person, between 30% and 50% (both inclusive) of our voting shares, and such person (or parties acting in concert with such person) acquires additional voting shares representing more than 1% of our voting shares in any six-month period, must, except with the consent of the Securities Industry Council of Singapore, extend a mandatory take-over offer for all the remaining voting shares in accordance with the provisions of the Singapore Take-overs Code.
On January 30, 2020, the Securities Industry Council of Singapore waived the application of the Singapore Take-overs Code to us, subject to certain conditions. Pursuant to the waiver, for as long as we are not listed on a securities exchange in Singapore, and except in the case of a tender offer (within the meaning of U.S. securities laws) where the Tier 1 Exemption set forth in Rule 14d-1(c) under the Exchange Act (the “Tier 1 Exemption”) is available and the offeror relies on the Tier 1 Exemption to avoid full compliance with the tender offer regulations promulgated under the Exchange Act, the Singapore Take-overs Code shall not apply to us. In connection with receipt of the waiver, the SunPower Board submitted to the Securities Industry Council of Singapore a written confirmation to the effect that it is in the interests of SunPower shareholders who will become holders of Maxeon shares as a result of the Spin-off that a waiver of the provisions of the Singapore Take-overs Code is obtained. However, if the conditions for the waiver are no longer applicable, the Singapore Take-overs Code will be applicable and while the primary objective of the Singapore Take-overs Code is fair and equal treatment of all shareholders in a take-over or merger situation, its provisions may discourage or prevent certain types of transactions involving an actual or threatened change of control of our company. These legal requirements may impede or delay a take-over of our company by a third party, and thereby have a material adverse effect on the value of our shares. In addition, as the Green Convertible Notes are convertible into our ordinary shares, under the Singapore Take-overs Code (where the Singapore Take-overs Code may be applicable), if a take-over offer is made for the Maxeon shares, a comparable offer has to be made for the Green Convertible Notes (so long as the Green Convertible Notes are outstanding) in accordance with the provisions of the Singapore Take-overs Code.
Under Singapore law, our directors have general authority to allot and issue new shares on terms and conditions and with any preferences, rights or restrictions as may be determined by the Maxeon Board in its sole discretion.
Under Singapore law, we may only allot and issue new shares with the prior approval of our shareholders in a general meeting. Subject to the general authority to allot and issue new shares provided by our shareholders, the provisions of the Singapore Companies Act and our Constitution, the Maxeon Board may allot and issue new shares on terms and conditions and with the rights (including preferential voting rights) and restrictions as they may think fit to impose. Any additional issuances of new shares by our directors could adversely impact the market price of our shares.
ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
4.A. HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY
General Corporate Information
We are incorporated under the laws of Singapore in accordance with the Singapore Companies Act. We are currently registered with ACRA under the name “Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd.” We were formed by SunPower in connection with our separation from SunPower, for an unlimited duration, effective as of the date of our incorporation with ACRA on October 11, 2019.
We are domiciled in Singapore and our registered office is currently located at 8 Marina Boulevard #05-02, Marina Bay Financial Centre, 018981, Singapore, which also currently serves as our principal executive offices, and our telephone number is +65 6338 1888. Our agent for service of process in the United States is CSC Global and its address is 251 Little Falls Drive, Wilmington, Delaware 19808.
General Development of Business
On the Distribution Date, SunPower completed the previously announced Spin-off of Maxeon. The Spin-off was completed by way of a Distribution of all of the Maxeon shares. As a result of the Distribution of the Maxeon shares on the Distribution Date, Maxeon became an independent, public company and the Maxeon shares started trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “MAXN.”
In connection with the Spin-off, Maxeon and SunPower entered into a number of agreements providing for the framework of the relationship between the two companies following the Spin-off.
Immediately after the Distribution and pursuant to the terms of the Investment Agreement dated November 8, 2019 (the “Investment Agreement”), Maxeon and TCL Zhonghuan Renewable Energy Technology Co. Ltd. (formerly known as Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co., Ltd.), a PRC joint stock limited company (“TZE”), completed the previously announced transaction in which Zhonghuan Singapore Investment and Development Pte. Ltd., a Singapore private limited company (“TZE SG”) and an affiliate of TZE, purchased from Maxeon, for $298.0 million, 8,915,692 of Maxeon shares (the “TZE Investment”).TZE Investment, TotalEnergies Solar INTL SAS (“TotalEnergies Solar”), TotalEnergies Gaz Electricité Holdings France SAS, (“TotalEnergies Gaz”, with TotalEnergies Solar, each an affiliate of TotalEnergies SE and collectively “TotalEnergies”),as holders of record of SunPower’s common stock, were issued Maxeon’s shares by way of pro rata distribution.
In connection with the TZE Investment, Maxeon, TotalEnergies Solar, TotalEnergies Gaz, and TZE SG, entered into a Shareholders Agreement relating to certain rights and obligations of each of TotalEnergies and TZE SG bearing on Maxeon’s governance and the ability of TotalEnergies and TZE SG to buy, sell or vote their Maxeon shares. At the closing of the TZE Investment, Maxeon also entered into a Registration Rights Agreement with TotalEnergies and TZE SG, granting each of the shareholders certain registration rights with regard to their Maxeon shares.
On July 17, 2020, Maxeon issued $200.0 million aggregate principal amount of its Green Convertible Notes (as defined under “Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources”). Upon satisfaction of the relevant conditions, the Green Convertible Notes will be convertible into Maxeon shares at an initial conversion price of $18.19 per share and an initial conversion rate of 54.9611 Maxeon shares per $1,000 principal amount of Green Convertible Notes. The conversion rate and conversion price will be subjected to adjustment in specified circumstances. We will settle conversions by paying or delivering, as applicable, cash, Maxeon shares or a combination of cash and Maxeon shares, at our election. For more information, see “Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources - Current Sources of Liquidity and Capital Resources”.
In April 2021, the Company completed an offering of $125.0 million of ordinary shares at a public offering price of $18.00 per share. In April 2021, pursuant to a stock purchase agreement, dated April 13, 2021, with an affiliate of TZE, the Company also sold to TZE 1,870,000 ordinary shares at a price of $18.00 per share, in a private placement exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “TZE Private Placement”). As of January 1, 2023, TotalEnergies’s and TZE SG’s ownership of the Maxeon outstanding shares was approximately 24.4% and 24.0%, respectively.
On August 17, 2022, we issued our 2027 Notes, all of which were initially purchased by TZE SG. To the extent some or all of the 2027 Notes held by TZE SG are converted into Maxeon shares or we directly issue ordinary shares in lieu of interest cash payment in accordance with the terms of the 2027 Notes, TZE has a beneficial ownership interest in 19,734,322 ordinary shares which includes 10,785,692 outstanding ordinary shares beneficially owned by TZE following the consummation of the Spin-Off and the TZE SG Private Placement, and 8,948,630 ordinary shares issuable upon conversion of the 2027 Notes. The maximum number of ordinary shares issuable upon conversion of the 2027 Notes is 10,908,331 ordinary shares including 8,948,630 ordinary shares issuable upon conversion of the 2027 Notes and an additional 1,959,701 ordinary shares issuable upon conversion of PIK Notes or Interest Payment Ordinary Shares issuable in lieu of cash payment of interest, assuming payment of all amounts due with respect to the remaining 4.0% of interest payable as PIK Notes or as Interest Payment Ordinary Shares.
Principal Capital Expenditures
Our capital expenditures amounted to $63.3 million, $154.2 million and $27.7 million during fiscal years 2022, 2021 and 2020, respectively, primarily consisting of expenditures related to the expansion of our solar cell manufacturing and assembly capacity as well as our technology conversions. Our manufacturing and assembly activities have required and will continue to require significant investment of capital and substantial engineering expenditures. Our capital expenditures, which are subject to obtaining necessary board consents, are expected to be funded with cash from operations, financing, or other available sources of liquidity. We expect total capital expenditures ranging from $100 million to $120 million in fiscal year 2023. As of January 1, 2023, we had committed to capital expenditures of $54.8 million. The capital expenditures mainly relate to preparation for
capacity expansion for our Maxeon 7 technology, completion of manufacturing capacity for Performance line panels to be sold in the U.S. market, completion of manufacturing capacity for our Maxeon 6 product platform, further developing Maxeon 7 technology and operating a pilot line, as well as various corporate initiatives. The above excludes capital expenditures in connection to the investment plan to deploy a multi-GW factory in the United States to manufacture solar products for both the DG and utility-scale power plant markets
Significant Acquisitions, Dispositions and other Events
In fiscal year 2017, SunPower entered into our Huansheng JV with TZE to manufacture Performance line products in China that constitute a part of the Maxeon Business and in 2021, we made certain amendments to the original transaction documents. For more information, see “Item 7.B. Related Party Transactions—Agreements with TZE—Agreements with TZE in Connection with the Huansheng JV.”
In September 2021, TZE made a capital injection of RMB270.0 million (equivalent to $41.6 million) to Huansheng JV to facilitate the capacity expansion of Huansheng JV. The Company did not make a proportionate injection based on its equity interest in Huansheng JV which resulted in a dilution of the Company's equity ownership from 20.0% to 16.3%. Consequently, we recorded a gain of $3.0 million related to the deemed disposal of the equity ownership, including $0.03 million relating to the recycling of other comprehensive income to profit or loss. The gain is presented within “Other, net” in our Consolidated and Combined Statements of Operations. As of January 1, 2023, TZE owns a 83.7% equity stake and we own a 16.3% equity stake in Huansheng JV.
In addition, we have made significant investments in certain of our manufacturing facilities to enhance our production capabilities. For more information, see “Item 4.D. Property, Plants and Equipment—Major Facilities.”
All inquiries to us should be directed at the address and telephone number of our principal executive office set forth above. Our website is https://www.maxeon.com/. The information contained on or accessible through our website does not form part of this annual report. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, such as we, that file electronically, with the SEC at www.sec.gov.
4.B. BUSINESS OVERVIEW
Maxeon is one of the world’s leading global manufacturers and marketers of premium solar power technology. We have developed and maintained this leadership position through decades of technological innovation and investment, in addition to the development of sales and distribution channels across six continents. Headquartered in Singapore, we manufacture our solar cells in Malaysia and the Philippines, assemble solar cells into panels in Mexico, Malaysia and China (through our Huansheng JV), and sell our products across more than 100 countries.
Solar has become one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources over the last few decades. According to a report from Wood Mackenzie dated December 7, 2022, through effective investments and projects, the solar market has achieved more than 1,100 GW of global installed capacity as of 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 30% since 2009.
As solar technology has developed, manufacturing costs have declined and performance has improved, although there were increases in manufacturing costs driven by higher freight rates and material costs over the course of 2021 and in the first half of 2022. Today, solar power, together with enhanced balance of system technology, has among the lowest levelized cost of energy (“LCOE”) of all major energy sources.
In the long term, market growth is expected to continue and even accelerate. According to a November 30, 2022 report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (“BNEF”), by 2050, solar technology is expected to represent from
28% (net zero scenario) to 29% (economic transition scenario) of global electricity generation, with a balanced distribution among key regions worldwide—a significant increase compared to its current penetration of approximately 6% of global generation.
We believe the following factors have driven and will continue to drive demand in the global solar power industry, including demand for our products:
•solar generation costs have fallen to the point where solar power is one of the lowest-cost electricity sources on an LCOE basis in certain regions and is even considered by BNEF to be the lowest cost source in countries such as China, India, France, Japan, Australia, or Spain;
•renewable energy is one of the most relevant topics and targets of government incentives and policies as a result of increased concerns regarding climate change;
•solar power is at the center of public discussion, which helps to grow public awareness of its advantages, such as peak energy generation, significantly smaller fuel and supply chain risk, sustainability from an environmental perspective, scalability and reliability;
•structural limitations for fossil fuel supply and issues around energy security increasing the long-term demand for alternative sources of energy;
•significant secular increase in electricity demand; and
•solar energy as a viable option to generate energy in developing countries, rural areas, and regions without indigenous fuel resources.
We are one of the world’s leading global manufacturers and marketers of premium solar technology. We have developed and maintained this leadership position through decades of technological innovation and investment, in addition to the development of sales and distribution channels supplying customers in more than 100 countries on six continents. We own and operate solar cell and panel manufacturing facilities located in Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines and we participate in a joint venture for panel manufacturing in China with TZE. During fiscal year 2022, 40.3% of our revenue was attributable to the United States and Canada, 45.3% to EMEA, 13.5% to Asia Pacific and 0.9% to other markets.
Our primary products are the Maxeon line of interdigitated back contact (“IBC”) solar cells and panels, and the Performance line (formerly, “P-Series”) of shingled solar cells and panels. We believe the Maxeon line of solar panels are the highest-efficiency solar panels on the market with an aesthetically pleasing design, and the Performance line of solar panels offers a high-value and cost-effective solution. The Maxeon line is primarily targeted at residential and small-scale commercial customers across the globe. The Performance line was initially targeted at the large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant markets, but has proven to be attractive to our customers in the distributed generation (which we refer to as “DG”) markets as well. During fiscal year 2022, 54.1% of our revenue was attributable to products in our Maxeon line and the other 45.9% was attributable to products in our Performance line. 84.9% of our revenue was attributable to DG applications and 15.1% attributable to power plant applications.
Our proprietary technology platforms, including the Maxeon line and Performance line, target distinct market segments, serving both the DG and power plant markets. This ability to address the full market spectrum allows us to benefit from a range of diverse industry drivers and retain a balanced and diversified customer base.
We believe that our Maxeon line of IBC technology stands apart from the competition in key categories which our customers value, including product efficiency, energy yield, reliability, safety and aesthetics. We believe the combination of these characteristics enables the delivery of an unparalleled product and value proposition to our customers. Our Maxeon line products use a unique cell architecture and advanced module materials to deliver nearly
20% more energy in any given amount of roof space over the first 25 years, as compared to conventional front-contact mono-PERC panels, and come with a leading warranty in the industry.
Our Performance line technology is designed to deliver higher performance compared with conventional panels. This is possible due to several patented features and improvements we have employed in our product. Some of the main differentiators from the competition for our shingled design is that in our design, standard mono-PERC cells are interconnected using electrically conductive adhesive instead of soldered metal ribbons. This technique greatly improves long-term durability, increases efficiency from reduced electrical resistance and less inactive white space between cells, and – when combined with novel electrical bussing – improves shade performance. In addition, our Performance line’s robust shingled cells and advanced encapsulant are highly resistant to thermal stresses, humidity, light and temperature-induced degradation (“LeTID”) and potential-induced degradation (“PID”).
We have begun manufacturing our high efficiency bifacial Performance line solar panels for the United States large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant markets through conversion of our Malaysia and Mexico facilities. Our cumulative bookings to supply our Performance line solar panels for the United States large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant markets is 4.2 GW extending into 2025 and uses substantially all of our Performance Line manufacturing capacity. In addition, one of our customers has the option, secured with a deposit, to purchase an additional 1.5 GW through 2027.
In December 2020, we introduced an AC version of our Maxeon product to the international marketplace. We already produce a similar product for SunPower’s use in North America. These modules combine a microinverter with the module to create an integrated unit that is ready to connect to the low voltage power grid. These “AC modules” provide significant installation and energy production advantages versus traditional systems and allow us to capture an additional portion of the value of a solar installation. In 2021 we introduced an AC version of our Performance line to compliment the AC version of our Maxeon line. Since the introduction, there has been increasing demand for these AC modules.
In May 2021, we also announced the commercialization of our new Maxeon AirTM technology platform, which is the result of five years of research, development and testing. This new technology platform enables the production of Maxeon Air solar panels, which are conformable, ultra-light, robust and fire-certified panels that can be adhered directly to the roof without the need for racking or other mounting systems. Maxeon Air panels were tested during the first half of 2022 with selected membrane suppliers and the product availability is scheduled to begin in 2023.
In May 2022, we introduced SunPower One, an integrated ecosystem of clean energy products and services that
builds on our industry-leading panels and leverages our global distribution channels. As part of the initial launch
of SunPower One, we announced a battery storage system, SunPower Reserve, an electric vehicle charger,
SunPower Drive, and a consumer experience that helps homeowners better understand and manage their
photovoltaic battery, and EV charging devices, view detailed information on their energy consumption, and
receive personalized tips on how to maximize the most savings from their investment. The roll-out of SunPower Reserve will commence in 2023.
We believe the following strengths of our business distinguish us from our competitors, enhance our leadership position in our industry and position us to capitalize on the expected continued growth in our market:
•Leading provider of premium solar technology. Our established leadership position in solar technology is grounded in over 35 years of experience. Over that time, our solar technology has been awarded over 1,300 patents. We have also made substantial investments in research and development, having invested more than $593 million since 2007 which is more than any other crystalline panel manufacturer. Together, these factors have allowed us to create truly differentiated products which have maintained 20% relative lifetime energy density advantage over the industry average solar panel efficiency since 2012.
•Established differentiated sales, marketing, and distribution channels in each of our key markets. We have built relationships with dealer/installers, distributors, and white label partners globally to ensure reliable distribution channels for our products. As examples, we have over 750 sales and installation partners in the Asia Pacific region, over 1,000 in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, and over 50 in Latin America. In North America, we have supply contracts with SunPower through 2025 for our products to be used in its residential business. Please see “Item 7.B Related Party Transactions.”
•Well-positioned to capture growth across solar markets. We believe solar growth will be driven by strong expansion in both DG and power plant applications. Over the past four years we grew our total MW deployed by a multiple of approximately two in EU DG markets and Australia. We also believe that our technology, with superior efficiency and lower degradation rates, provides significant advantages to customers in the DG markets.
•Unique cutting-edge innovative technology. Our Maxeon 3 and Maxeon 6 panels have the highest rated efficiency among panels currently in commercial production. We also believe that our current technology stands apart from the competition on every meaningful performance metric, including efficiency, energy yield, reliability and aesthetics. Additionally, our Performance line shingled cell technology delivers up to 7% more energy compared to conventional panels, allowing us to achieve a diverse sales base across both DG and the utility power plant markets.
•Strategic partnerships with top tier companies worldwide. Our strategic relationship with SunPower provides valuable access to a leading solar distribution business in North America and a market-leading brand platform for international market growth. We have a supply relationship with TotalEnergies S.E., which is active in the global downstream solar market. We also seek to have strategic partnerships across the business chain, as exemplified by our relationship with TZE, which provides valuable connections in Asia’s supply chain and distribution channels, as well as research and development collaboration between companies pushing the technological frontier.
•Unmatched investment in research and development, translating into next-generation leading products. Our superior technology has been key to our leadership position. Through efficient, disciplined and business-oriented investments, we were able to develop patent-protected technology which we expect to leverage in our next-generation products. Our Maxeon 7 panels are expected to achieve an even higher efficiency while allowing for reduced costs given their significantly simplified manufacturing process. We expect this next-generation solar panel to achieve superior performance at reduced costs, unlocking mass market adoption and commercialization through multiple pathways.
•Experienced management team. We have a strong and experienced management team with combined experience in the manufacturing and/or solar and semiconductor sectors of over 151 years complemented by expertise in technology and product innovation.
We are strategically positioned to deploy advanced solar technologies at scale. We draw on over 35 years of technology innovation around high-performance solar products and have well-established global channels available to market our products. Our primary focus includes:
•Commercializing Maxeon 7 Technology. Maxeon 7 is the latest in a series of innovative IBC product technologies developed by Maxeon (and our predecessor company SunPower) over the past 20 years. We believe that Maxeon 7 and future technologies based on this innovative new cell architecture will offer higher performance levels than our current IBC products. We have been operating a pilot line in our Philippines cell manufacturing facility for over a year to demonstrate process control and product performance. Given our expectations related to the value proposition of Maxeon 7 and heightened demand for solar panels, we are considering adding incremental capacity for the manufacture of Maxeon 7 products at one of our Philippines cell manufacturing facilities that is currently not in use. We are currently in the
process of making the necessary preparations for such a capacity expansion and have reserved a portion of our 2023 planned capex for that purpose.
•Enhancing our access to the low-cost Asia-centric supply chain and expanding our global channels to market. We benefit from our strategic partner TZE’s knowledge of and access to the upstream supply markets and distribution channels in Asia. In addition, we leverage access to TZE’s silicon wafers for our Performance line technologies.
•Addressing the United States solar market with Performance Line. We are in the process of ramping up our expanded solar cell and module capacity in our Malaysia and Mexico facilities manufacturing Performance line shingled module technology for use in the United States market.
•Expanding our manufacturing footprint into the United States. We have announced plans to build a multi-GW factory in the United States to supply both the DG and utility-scale markets, contingent upon us securing the necessary funding and other factors beyond our control.
•Leveraging our established distributed generation channels to drive continued growth. As a leading DG player, we have a robust sales and marketing platform to access key markets around the world. The expansion of this network is a vital element for future growth, as is the inclusion of additional product lines such as AC modules which expand our share of wallet with our existing channel partners.
•Adding value “Beyond the Panel” for increased revenue and margin. Our strong channels to market in the DG business offer an opportunity for Maxeon to bundle adjacent products together with our panel sales. We have already begun adding microinverters to certain of our panels for sale, and are further expanding our product portfolio to include battery storage systems, EV chargers and customer focused services.
•Enhancing our financial performance through our superior technology, manufacturing processes and strategy. We believe we have the ability to translate our superior technology into strong financial returns as we couple our premium average selling prices with enhanced manufacturing processes and a scalable low-cost footprint, resulting in rapidly expanding margins and cash generation.
With our corporate headquarters in Singapore and existing manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, the Philippines, and China (through our Huansheng JV), we believe our significant Asian presence will help strengthen relationships and sourcing arrangements across our supply chain. We have added Performance line capacity to our own manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and Mexico and have converted our Malaysia manufacturing facility to produce our Maxeon 6 modules. Our Huansheng JV and its affiliates also plan to increase its Performance line capacity. As of January 1, 2023, we had the majority of our targeted 1.8 GW of Performance line cell capacity in operation, and contractual access to over 7.3 GW of Performance line supply from our Huansheng JV.
The solar power industry manufactures and deploys solar panels and systems across a range of end-use applications. With estimated 2022 annual shipment volumes of 206 GW to 266 GW according to Q4’22 PV Installations Tracker from S&P Global (previously IHS Markit) and Wood Mackenzie Global Solar Outlook - Q4 2022, solar power comprises the largest fraction of newly installed global electric power generation equipment. The two primary application segments are DG, mainly for residential and commercial rooftops systems, and utility-scale for large ground-mounted power generation systems. During 2022, total industry shipment volume mix was approximately 41% DG and 59% utility-scale according to Q4 ‘22 PV Installations Tracker from S&P Global compiled on November 25, 2022.
The market for electric generation products is heavily influenced by national, state/provincial and local government laws, regulations and policies concerning the electric utility industry globally, as well as policies promulgated by electric utilities. The market for electric generation equipment is also influenced by trade and local content laws, regulations and policies. In addition, on-grid applications depend on access to the grid, which is also regulated by government entities.
Maxeon Solar Panels
Maxeon offers a comprehensive panel portfolio ensuring maximum flexibility to address all customers’ energy needs. Our flagship Maxeon solar panels are the highest efficiency panels available on the market and deliver maximum energy production and unmatched reliability, while providing leading environmental sustainability and aesthetics.
Maxeon panels lead the solar industry in panel efficiency and deliver more savings by generating the most solar energy in a given amount of roof space. Over time, the advantage grows, because Maxeon panels also have the lowest degradation rate in the solar industry. While third party studies show that most standard panels tend to degrade around 0.7% per year, Maxeon panels degrade at a significantly lower rate of 0.2% per year. To translate into real results – that means a Maxeon panel delivers nearly 20% more energy from the same footprint as standard panels over the first 25 years. When combined with our 40-year warranty period for certain products, which is the industry’s longest warranty, that advantage grows to 80% more guaranteed energy over the lifetime of the system. In addition, based on third party reliability validation by PV Evolution Labs, Maxeon panels are one of the top performers. The reliability test subjected solar panels to various weather condition conditions, including but not limited to temperature change, damp heat and wind pressure.
The innovation behind Maxeon panels is protected by patents globally covering cell and panel design, as well as key manufacturing tools and processes. Maxeon panels feature a unique ribbon-less back-contact cell structure utilizing a metal foundation that minimizes the impact of climatic stresses as well as shading and cell cracks. Through this, Maxeon panels produce up to 30% more energy under shaded conditions from the same footprint as standard panels over their first 25 years and are not reliant on a bypass diode in the junction box to prevent hotspots – the cells are intrinsically resistant to the formation of hotspots. When Maxeon back-contact cells are cracked from impacts, the metal foundation maintains electrical connections to any broken sections, maintaining module power. The lower risk is conveyed to our customers through a leading panel warranty which, unlike most conventional warranties, is based on actual field-testing data. The power warranty guarantees no more than 0.25% per year power drop – the lowest rate in the solar industry. Field data shows that only 0.005% or 1 in 20,000 Maxeon panels have been returned under warranty.
Maxeon has pioneered sustainability efforts in solar manufacturing, and our Maxeon panels have been recognized with the prestigious Cradle to Cradle Certified™ designation for DC panels. The Cradle to Cradle designation demonstrates the products' quality based on rankings of material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness. Maxeon discloses its ingredients through the Declare label – available for all Maxeon panels. Our Mexicali, Mexico manufacturing facility is certified by NSF Sustainability as Zero Waste to Landfill. The certification means that this facility diverts more than 99% of its waste, with 1% or less going to landfills.
Finally, the back-contact cell design of Maxeon panels provides an uncluttered and elegant design aesthetic – with panels available in black and white backsheets. This has made Maxeon panels the panel of choice for architects and designers for decades.
Our latest technology, Maxeon 6, utilizes a similar design to Maxeon 3 but with larger silicon wafers, further increasing solar cell power. When fully ramped, we expect Maxeon technology on larger wafers to be less expensive to manufacture than Maxeon 3 technology. In fiscal year 2022, we completed the conversion of our Fab 3 Malaysia facility from Maxeon 5 to Maxeon 6 production capacity. This results in close to 500 MW of Maxeon 6 production capacity.
Performance Solar Panels
Our Performance line of solar panels utilize high efficiency mono-PERC cells to deliver higher reliability and efficiency than conventional panels. With more than 15 GW deployed across more than 80 countries to date, Performance line solar panels are the industry’s most deployed shingled cell panel technology.
The innovation behind Performance line solar panels is protected by patents in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions covering cell and panel designs, as well as key manufacturing tools and processes. These products utilize a proprietary manufacturing process to assemble conventional silicon solar cells into panels with increased energy yield and reliability compared with conventional panels. Similar to Maxeon panels, the cell interconnects used in conventional panels are “designed out” to provide high reliability. The unique inter-cell bussing is robust under shading and cell cracking stresses, to maximize energy production and lifetime reliability.
Performance line solar panels are produced by Huansheng JV, an Yixing, China based joint venture in which we own a 16.3% equity stake as of January 1, 2023 and its affiliates. Huansheng JV (including its affiliates) currently has a capacity to supply approximately 12 GW per year of Performance line solar panels, with plans for expansion of capacity in 2023 to 20 GW. We have the right, but not the obligation, to take up to 33% of this capacity for sale directly into global DG markets outside of China and power plant markets in the United States and Mexico regions, and a further 33% for sale into global power plant markets with the exception of China, the United States and Mexico through a marketing joint venture in which we own an 80% stake. In 2022, we also began deliveries of Performance line solar panels from our facility in Mexico, which is in the process of ramping up to its planned capacity of 1.8 GW. We have announced plans to build a multi-GW factory in the United States to supply both the DG and utility-scale markets, contingent upon us securing the necessary funding and other factors beyond our control.
In late 2020 we introduced a new line of Maxeon AC Modules and, in 2021, Performance line AC Modules, for sale in Europe and Australia. These AC modules are built based on prior experiences from shipping AC modules for sale in the United States since 2012. These products are versions of our DC panels with factory-attached microinverters. These modules integrate an inverter with each PV module in a controlled factory environment, creating a single unit that is ready to connect to the low voltage power grid. AC Modules provide significant installation and energy production advantages versus traditional systems and allow us to capture an additional portion of the value of a solar installation. For example, our average selling prices in Europe have increased more than 5 percent sequentially due to an increase in demand for AC modules.
We generally provide a 25-year warranty for the solar panels that we manufacture for defects in materials and workmanship and for greater than promised declines in power performance, subject to certain conditions. Effective from January 1, 2022, this has been extended to a 40-year warranty for certain Maxeon line modules in certain countries. Conventional panels generally provide 10-12 years of product warranty coverage, exposing claimants to potential issues making claims after the product warranty has expired; but, before the power warranty has expired. We generally provide a power warranty guaranteeing a certain minimum level of power output over time. Our warranty for Maxeon panels leads the industry with 0.25 percent per year maximum degradation, while our warranty for Performance line panels provides 0.45 percent per year. The warranty provides that we will elect to either (a) repair; (b) replace; or (c) refund the customer based on the computation stipulated in the warranty agreement.
Beyond the Panel
In 2022, we introduced SunPower One, an integrated ecosystem of clean energy products and services that builds on our industry-leading panels and leverages our global distribution channels. As part of the initial launch of SunPower One, we announced a battery storage system, SunPower Reserve, an electric vehicle charger, SunPower Drive, and a consumer experience that helps homeowners better understand and manage their photovoltaic battery and EV charging devices, view detailed information on their energy consumption, and receive personalized tips on how to maximize the savings from their investment. The roll-out of SunPower Reserve will commence in 2023.
During fiscal year 2022, 40.3% of our revenue was attributable to North America, 45.3% to EMEA, 13.5% to Asia Pacific and 0.9% to other markets. While we expect that North America will continue to represent a key market for us, we anticipate continuing to sell the majority of our products outside of North America in the future.
The Maxeon line, which includes our Maxeon 3, Maxeon 6 and Maxeon 7 solar panels, is primarily targeted at residential and commercial customers across the globe. The Performance line was initially targeted at the large-scale
commercial and utility-scale power plant markets, but has proven to be attractive to our customers in the DG markets as well.
Research and Development
We engage in extensive research and development efforts to improve solar cell efficiency and solar panel performance through the enhancement of our existing products, development of new techniques, and reductions in manufacturing cost and complexity. Our research and development group works closely with our manufacturing facilities, equipment suppliers and customers to improve solar cell design and to lower solar cell, solar panel and system product manufacturing and assembly costs.
In addition, we work closely with our current and potential suppliers of crystalline silicon, a key raw material used in the manufacture of solar cells, to develop specifications that meet our standards and ensure high quality while at the same time controlling costs. In the past, prior to us establishing our own research and development teams in Singapore and Silicon Valley, we relied on SunPower to perform research and development work under a Product Collaboration Agreement, with work conducted in SunPower’s Silicon Valley research and development lab. In 2022, we established our own Silicon Valley research and development lab in anticipation of the expiration of the Product Collaboration Agreement with SunPower in 2022. We expect that the combination of our two global innovation teams in Singapore and Silicon Valley will increase the speed at which Maxeon can bring new technologies and products to market in the coming years.
Manufacturing and Supplies
We currently operate solar cell manufacturing facilities in the Philippines and Malaysia and solar module assembly facilities in Mexico and Malaysia. We regularly evaluate our manufacturing capabilities in support of anticipated demand for our products and from time to time may determine to upgrade and expand, relocate or to shut down one or more facilities as opportunities to streamline our manufacturing operations become apparent.
As part of the solar panel manufacturing process, polysilicon is melted and grown into crystalline ingots and sliced into wafers by business partners specializing in those processes. The wafers are processed into solar cells in our manufacturing facilities located in the Philippines and Malaysia.
The Maxeon 3 solar cell manufacturing facility that we own and operate in the Philippines has an annual capacity of approximately 560 MW. In fiscal year 2022, we completed the conversion of our Fab 3 Malaysia facility from Maxeon 5 to Maxeon 6 production capacity. This results in close to 500 MW of Maxeon 6 production capacity.
In order to expand our capacity to produce Performance line shingled module technology for use in the United States market, aimed at large-scale commercial and utility-scale power plant markets, we are expanding our Malaysia cell manufacturing facility to add up to 1.8 GW of mono-PERC solar cells production and upgraded our assembly facility in Mexico with equivalent module assembly capacity. Product deliveries commenced in first half of 2022. We expect to complete our production capacity ramp of mono-PERC solar cells to 1.8 GW during 2023. We have also announced plans to deploy a multi-GW factory in the United States to manufacture solar products for both the DG and utility-scale power plant markets, contingent upon us securing the necessary funding and other factors beyond our control.
We source the materials and components for our solar cells and panels both internally and from third-party suppliers based on quality, performance, and cost considerations. We typically assemble proprietary components, while we purchase generally available components from third-party suppliers. In a few cases, proprietary components are only available from a sole supplier. While we secure supply of these specific components, we may face production disruptions if the supplier is not fulfilling its obligations, and adoption of new tariffs between different countries may negatively affect the cost of some materials.
We purchase a portion of our Performance line solar panels from our Huansheng JV which currently has capacity to supply approximately 12 GW of Performance line solar panels. We have the right, but not the obligation, to take up to 33% of this capacity for sale directly into global DG markets outside of China and power plant markets in the United States and Mexico regions, and a further 33% for sale into global power plant markets with the exception of China, the United States and Mexico through a marketing joint venture in which we own an 80% stake.
We purchase wafers and, prior to the expiration of the long-term fixed supply agreement for polysilicon in fiscal year 2022, we also purchased polysilicon from various manufacturers on both a contracted and a purchase order basis. We work with our suppliers and partners along all steps of the value chain to reduce costs by improving manufacturing technologies and expanding economies of scale. Crystalline silicon is the principal commercial material for solar cells and is used in several forms, including single-crystalline, or monocrystalline silicon, multi-crystalline, or polycrystalline silicon, ribbon and sheet silicon, and thin-layer silicon. With the expiration of the long-term fixed supply agreement for polysilicon, our solar cell value chain starts with silicon wafers which are produced from polysilicon.
Silicon wafers are a critical raw material used in the production of our photovoltaic products. To maintain competitive manufacturing operations, we depend on our suppliers to timely deliver polysilicon in sufficient quantities and of appropriate quality. See “Risk Factors - Risks Related To Our Operations - A disruption in our supply chain for silicon wafers could interrupt or impair our ability to manufacture solar cells and modules, including for the United States market, and could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and could in turn result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments, and loss of market share.”
In 2008, due to a polysilicon shortage and to match its estimated customer demand forecasts and growth strategy, SunPower entered into long-term fixed supply agreements for polysilicon. In connection with the Spin-off, we entered into an agreement with SunPower pursuant to which we effectively received SunPower’s rights under the continuing long-term fixed supply agreements (including SunPower’s deposits and advanced payments thereunder) and, in return, we performed all of SunPower’s existing and future obligations under the agreements (including all take-or-pay obligations). Maxeon was not permitted to cancel or exit the agreements prior to their expiration. The agreements were structured as “take or pay” agreements that specify future quantities of polysilicon to be purchased up to the end of fiscal year 2022 and the pricing of polysilicon required to be supplied and purchased. The agreements also provided for penalties or forfeiture of advanced deposits in the event Maxeon terminated the arrangement. Additionally, under the agreements, Maxeon had made prepayments to the suppliers. During fiscal year 2022, our supplier communicated to us that they believed certain price escalation clauses for silicon metal have been triggered under the agreements and therefore increased pricing would apply to our purchases of polysilicon for the then remaining deliveries in 2022. We did not agree that these inflationary price escalation clauses applied, and agreed to make a one-off and final settlement payment of $15.2 million to the supplier in equal monthly installments from August 2022 until January 2023. As of January 1, 2023, we have made five of the six installment payments with the remaining amount owed being recorded under “Accounts payable” in our Consolidated Balance Sheets as of January 1, 2023. This long-term fixed supply agreement for polysilicon has now expired in accordance with its terms.
On November 16, 2021, we entered into a silicon wafer master supply agreement with Zhonghuan Hong Kong Ltd (“TZE HK”), a subsidiary of TZE for the purchase of P-Type G12 wafers which are intended to be incorporated into the Company’s Performance line modules planned for manufacture in Malaysia and Mexico and sale into the United States. The Company expects TZE HK to be its primary wafer supplier for Performance line modules and deliveries commenced in 2022. Deposit arrangements, payment terms and pricing mechanisms will be agreed to with TZE HK for the Company to reserve specified volumes in advance. The master supply agreement also sets out a general framework and customary operational and legal terms which govern the purchases of silicon wafer from TZE by the Company and its subsidiaries, including engineering changes, supply chain management, inspection, representations and warranties and legal compliance. Throughout 2022, we entered into addendums to the master supply agreement, pursuant to which TZE HK will supply us with wafers to meet our volume requirements for calendar year 2023.
As of January 1, 2023, future purchase obligations under our long-term fixed supply agreements for silicon wafer totaled $118.9 million and advance payment obligations to suppliers totaled $2.1 million is classified as “Advances to suppliers, current portion” in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. See “Note 9. Commitments and Contingencies” for outstanding future purchase commitments.
During fiscal year 2022, we recognized charges of $8.3 million related to losses incurred as a result of ancillary sales to third parties of excess polysilicon procured under our long-term fixed supply agreements. In addition, we estimate that we paid $11.3 million above the market price for polysilicon utilized in our manufacturing process, which is the difference between our contractual cost under the long-term fixed supply agreements and the price of polysilicon available in the market as derived from publicly available information, multiplied by the volume of polysilicon we have consumed.
For more information about risks related to our supply chain and risks related to the Maxeon Business generally, see “Item 3.D. Risk Factors”.
Key Corporate Functions
In connection with the Spin-off, we have created standalone corporate and support functions for our business and operations. Key corporate functions include tax, treasury, accounting, internal audit, investor relations, human resources, communications, legal and corporate governance, information technology, facilities, and administrative support services.
In connection with the Spin-off, we and SunPower agreed to provide and/or make available various administrative services and assets to each other pursuant to the Transition Services Agreement. Services provided include, among others, certain services related to finance, accounting, business technology, human resources, facilities, document management and record retention, relationship and strategy management, module operations, and technical and quality support. The services provided under the Transition Services Agreement have been largely wound down.
We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark, and contractual protections to establish and protect our proprietary rights. We typically require our business partners to enter into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements before we disclose any sensitive aspects of our solar cells, technology, or business plans. We typically enter into proprietary information agreements with employees, consultants, vendors, customers, and joint venture partners.
We own multiple patents and patent applications that cover aspects of the technology in the solar cells and panels that we currently manufacture and market. We continue to file for and receive new patent rights on a regular basis. The lifetime of a utility patent typically extends for 20 years from the date of filing with the relevant government authority. We assess appropriate opportunities for patent protection of those aspects of our technology, designs, methodologies, and processes that we believe provide significant competitive advantages to us, and for licensing opportunities of new technologies relevant to our business. As of January 1, 2023, we held 1,483 patents and 412 pending patent applications across all jurisdictions including the United States. While patents are an important element of our intellectual property strategy, our business as a whole is not dependent on any one patent or any single pending patent application. We additionally rely on trade secret rights to protect our proprietary information and know-how. We employ proprietary processes and customized equipment in our manufacturing facilities. We therefore require employees and consultants to enter into confidentiality agreements to protect them.
When appropriate, we enforce our intellectual property rights against other parties. For more information about risks related to our intellectual property, see “Item 3.D. Risk Factors.”
The market for solar electric power technologies is competitive and continually evolving, resulting in price reductions in the market and reduced margins which may continue and could lead to loss of market share. Our solar
power products and systems compete with many competitors in the solar power market, including, but not limited to: Canadian Solar Inc., First Solar Inc., Hanwha QCELLS Corporation, JA Solar Holdings Co., Jinko Solar, LONGi Solar, REC Solar, Risen Energy and Trina Solar Ltd.
In addition, universities, research institutions, and other companies have brought to market alternative technologies, such as thin-film solar technology, which compete with our photovoltaic technology in certain applications. Furthermore, the solar power market in general competes with other energy providers such as electricity produced from conventional fossil fuels supplied by utilities and other sources of renewable energy, including wind, hydro, biomass, solar thermal, and emerging DG technologies such as micro-turbines, sterling engines and fuel cells.
In the large-scale on-grid solar power systems market, we face direct competition from a number of companies, including those that manufacture, distribute, or install solar power systems as well as construction companies that have expanded into the renewable sector. In addition, we will occasionally compete with DG equipment suppliers.
We believe that the key competitive factors in the market for solar power systems include:
•total system price;
•customer cost of energy evaluation;
•sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency and energy yield;
•aesthetic appearance of solar panels and systems;
•interface with standard mounting systems;
•strength of distribution relationships;
•commercial payment terms;
•established sales channels to customers;
•timeliness of new product introductions; and
•warranty protection, quality, and customer service.
We believe that we can compete favorably with respect to each of these elements, although we may be at a disadvantage in comparison to larger companies with broader product lines, greater technical service and support capabilities, and financial resources. See “Item 3.D. Risk Factors” for more details.
See “Item 5.A. Operating Results” for more details.
Public Policy Considerations
Different public policy mechanisms have been used by governments to accelerate the adoption and use of solar power. Examples of customer-focused financial mechanisms include capital cost rebates, performance-based incentives, feed-in tariffs, tax credits, renewable portfolio standards, net metering, and carbon regulations. Some of these government mandates and economic incentives are scheduled to be reduced or to expire, or could be eliminated altogether. Capital cost rebates provide funds to customers based on the cost and size of a customer’s solar power system. Performance-based incentives provide funding to a customer based on the energy produced by
their solar power system. Feed-in tariffs pay customers for solar power system generation based on energy produced, at a rate generally guaranteed for a period of time. Tax credits reduce a customer’s taxes at the time the taxes are due. Renewable portfolio standards mandate that a certain percentage of electricity delivered to customers come from eligible renewable energy resources. Net metering allows customers to deliver to the electric grid any excess electricity produced by their on-site solar power systems, and to be credited for that excess electricity at or near the full retail price of electricity. Carbon regulations, including cap-and-trade and carbon pricing programs, increase the cost of fossil fuels, which release climate-altering carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions during combustion.
In addition to the mechanisms described above, it should be noted the United Nations has adopted Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), which are being promoted by governments, corporations and civil society. Achieving several of the SDGs requires mass adoption of clean energy by 2030 and this is driving government policies. In Europe, for instance, the European Commission has harmonized its target date with the SDGs and mandated that its member states adopt integrated national climate and energy plans aimed at increasing their renewable energy targets to be achieved by 2030. At the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (known as COP26) held in Glasgow, United Kingdom in October to November 2021, many nations around the world updated their national commitments to reduce carbon. By the end of COP26, 151 countries had submitted new climate plans (known as nationally determined contributions, or NDCs) to reduce emissions by 2030. At the subsequent UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt in November 2022, these national commitments remained in place. These developments could benefit the deployment of solar.
We use, generate, and discharge toxic, volatile, or otherwise hazardous chemicals and wastes in our research and development, manufacturing, and construction activities. We are subject to a variety of laws and regulations related to the purchase, storage, use, and disposal of hazardous materials in jurisdictions where we operate. We believe that we have all environmental permits necessary to conduct our business and expect to obtain all necessary environmental permits for future activities. We believe that we have properly handled our hazardous materials and wastes and have appropriately remediated any contamination at any of our premises. For more information about risks related to environmental regulations, see “Item 3.D. Risk Factors.”
We are a party to various litigation matters and claims that arise from time to time in the ordinary course of our business. While we believe the ultimate outcome of such matters will not have a material adverse effect on us, the outcomes of these litigation matters are not determinable and negative outcomes may adversely affect our financial position, liquidity, or results of operations.
In addition, in connection with the separation, we entered into a Separation and Distribution Agreement pursuant to which SunPower has agreed to indemnify us for certain litigation claims in which we or one of our subsidiaries is named as a defendant or party. While we expect to suffer no material financial liability because these matters are indemnified, it may drain our resources to cooperate with SunPower to defend these claims and our reputation with key stakeholders may be affected.
4.C. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Following the Spin-off, we are a separate, standalone company independent of SunPower. SunPower does not retain any ownership interest in us. See “Item 4.A. History and Development of the Company” for additional information.
Below is a list of our significant subsidiaries as of January 1, 2023:
|% of Equity|
Maxeon Solar Pte. Ltd
|SunPower Malaysia Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd.||Malaysia||100|
|SunPower Systems Sarl||Switzerland||100|
SunPower Corporation Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V.
Maxeon Americas, Inc.
4.D. PROPERTY, PLANTS AND EQUIPMENT
Our corporate headquarters is located in Singapore. The principal office for our international operations, which is also our registered office, is located in Singapore.
To ensure that we have sufficient manufacturing capacity to meet future production needs, we regularly review the capacity and utilization of our manufacturing facilities. The Malaysia Atomic Energy Licensing Board, Malaysian Investment Development Authority, Malaysia Department of Environment, Department of Occupational Safety & Health, Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, Mexico Secretaria de Proteccion al Ambiente, Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Laguna Lake Development Authority, PEZA, Philippines Department of Health/Food and Drugs Authority, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and other regulatory agencies regulate the approval for use of manufacturing facilities for photovoltaic products and equipment, and compliance with these regulations may require a substantial amount of validation time prior to start-up and approval. Accordingly, it is important to our business that we plan ahead to ensure we have sufficient manufacturing capacity to meet our future production needs.
The following table sets forth our most significant facilities as of January 1, 2023:
|Location||Size of Site|
|France||27,000 ||Leased||2023||Global support office|
|France||42,000 ||Owned||NA||Former solar assembly facility|
|France||36,000 ||Owned||NA||Former solar assembly facility|
|Malaysia||883,000 ||Owned||NA||Solar manufacturing facility|
|Mexico||186,000 ||Leased||2027||Solar module assembly facility|
|Mexico||320,000 ||Leased||2026||Solar module assembly facility|
|Mexico||124,000 ||Leased||2027||Storage facility|
|Philippines||641,000 ||Owned||NA||Former solar cell manufacturing facility|
|Philippines||118,000 ||Owned||NA||Former solar module assembly facility|
|Philippines||163,000 ||Leased||2024||Solar cell manufacturing support and storage facility|
|Philippines||389,000 ||Owned||NA||Solar cell manufacturing facility|
|Philippines||65,000 ||Owned||NA||Global support offices|
|Singapore||37,000 ||Leased||2025||Global support offices and research and development facility|
We believe that we have satisfactory title to our plants and facilities in accordance with standards generally accepted in our industry. We believe that all of our current production facilities are in good operating condition.
For information concerning our material plans to the facilities, see “Item 4.A. History and Development of the Company—Principal Capital Expenditures”.
Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) Matters
We integrate core values of ESG into our business strategy to protect the environment, to add value to the business, manage risk and enhance our reputation. As a leader in the solar industry, we believe that setting a high standard for the entire solar industry is essential in protecting the environment. We intend to make a meaningful and positive impact on the environment, for the communities we serve, the energy industry, our stakeholders and beyond. Our sustainability approach is grounded in our purpose of Powering Positive Change. In 2022, we introduced our industry-leading 40 year solar panel warranty to support long term energy production and sustainability. We also completed an Energy Payback Time assessment for our solar panels (measuring the electricity put into our panels as compared to the energy produced), launched our Modern Slavery Statement. We also released our second annual Sustainability Report, which is available on our website at https://www.maxeon.com/, prepared in accordance to the Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) Sustainability Reporting Standards, Core option, aligned to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”), Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) Sustainability Reporting requirement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs” or “Global Goals”). The information contained on or accessible through our website does not form part of this annual report.
Our ESG strategy centers around three main pillars, namely environmental, social and governance, across 14 key material topics divided across each of these three pillars, and aligned to the SDGs, with focus on the four key SDGs most we have chosen to focus on as a company:
•SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy
•SDG10: Reduce Inequalities
•SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production
•SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
As a testament to our commitment to producing solar panels that are as sustainable as the energy they produce, our SunPower Maxeon solar panels have been Cradle to Cradle certified since 2014, which is a globally recognized measure of product sustainability from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. To achieve the certification, products are assessed across five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. The certification recognizes products that are creating a positive impact on the environment and society by promoting a circular economy through their design and manufacturing. In 2022, we achieved Cradle to Cradle Silver certification from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute for our Maxeon 3, 5 and 6 panels sold in the United States as X-Series, M-Series and A-Series, respectively.
To better understand the efficiency and performance of our products, we have engaged an external consultant to perform an assessment of our solar panels' energy payback time (EPBT) in 2022. In the assessment performed on Maxeon’s energy usage data, the energy requirements for the production of Maxeon solar panels were determined to be exceptionally low, as compared to the solar energy these panels produced with an overall result providing an EPBT of less than a year. Therefore, energy produced over our technology’s lifetime far exceeds the energy required in its production.
We also recognize the importance of reducing our operational carbon footprint and strive to lower our own energy consumption, greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, water consumption and waste. The following are some examples of our environmental ESG efforts:
•Managing our carbon footprint: We are committed to managing our footprint throughout our value chain, working collaboratively with suppliers, distribution partners and customers to drive holistic results across the lifecycle of our products and our operations. For instance, we implemented our ‘Supplier
Sustainability Guidelines’ which require our suppliers to actively work to reduce the consumption of natural resources, including material sourcing such as polysilicon, and include sustainability criteria to track this environmental impact. In 2022, Maxeon embarked on a partnership with STACS on ESGpedia to enhance supplier sustainability monitoring.
•Waste management: We continue to strengthen our waste recycling programs across our factories. We were the first company in Mexico to be third party verified as Landfill-free since 2015, which we maintain. This certification stipulates that less than 1% of waste materials can be sent to a landfill and less than 10% of waste materials can be sent to a waste-to-energy facility, as verified through an external audit process management by NSF International, an independent organization that oversees the Landfill-Free standard for companies around the world. To achieve this certification, we adopted a lifecycle focused approach across our supply chain, including focusing on contracting with downstream waste vendors through a selection process to reduce our waste in the initial stages of sourcing, and implementing a range of waste reduction procedures during the manufacturing process, including the segregation of waste. In 2022, we have also made incremental progress on improving the sustainable packaging of our solar cells and modules to reduce waste.
•Creating a circular economy: Through our environmental sustainability initiatives in energy, water and waste management, we seek to move from a linear economy to a circular economy approach across our operations and to support the efforts of our customers to do the same. We strive to ensure that our facilities are built as sustainably as possible, adopting the principles of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) certification, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of environmentally sustainable structures. Five of our manufacturing facilities are LEED-certified, with three LEED Gold manufacturing facilities and two LEED Platinum administrative buildings.
The safety and well-being of our employees is paramount. Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) is embedded in our day-to-day operations, from the product design stage through the review stage. For 2022, we report zero work related fatalities and a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 1.14.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, to safeguard the health of our employees and support the communities where we operate, we implemented an immediate, holistic COVID-19 response across the organization. We established health and safety policies, implemented business practices to minimize transmission of COVID-19 within our premises.
In addition to creating a safe workplace for our employees, we strive to integrate our purpose of Powering Positive Change throughout our business operations and supply chain. For example, we are committed to fair labor and respect for human right practices. We have established our Global Human Rights Policy which sets standards for our global business conduct related to human rights and labor for employees, suppliers and any other business partners. We also implemented our Conflicts Minerals Policy to avoid the use of conflict minerals.
Maxeon understands the importance of supporting the communities where we live and work. We believe access to healthy environmental conditions is a fundamental human right. We aim to help correct inequities through our Maxeon Gives program which we launched in 2022. We also partnered with non-profits and government agencies on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes globally to contribute back to the communities.
Furthermore, we believe in diversity and inclusion in our workforce and the communities we serve as reflected in our zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and also demonstrated in our Board Diversity statement, which is available on our website at https://www.maxeon.com/, under the heading “Investor Relations – Governance” and our hiring statement, which is available in our sustainability report which stipulates that employment decisions are made on merit. See “Board Diversity.” The information contained on or accessible through our website does not form part of this annual report.
We believe that good governance is essential to creating and preserving value for our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. This includes a sound approach to corporate governance that complies with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and policies as well as adherence to our values. We have an extensive set of corporate governance policies that include a Global Anti-Corruption Compliance Policy, an Insider Trading Policy, a Whistleblower Policy, a Global Human Rights Policy, a Modern Slavery Statement and a Conflict Minerals Policy as well as our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct.
We have established a governance structure to drive ESG strategies, initiatives and performance. Our ESG progress is supervised by our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and further governed by our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, which consists of two independent directors and two directors appointed by our shareholders, TotalEnergies and TZE. As we strive towards remaining abreast of macro ESG trends, opportunities and risks, our Global ESG team and Chief Legal Officer, who is also our Global ESG Executive Leader, provide quarterly updates and presentations to the Committee on global ESG shifts, as well as our own ESG initiatives and progress. Our Global ESG Lead is based in the Singapore headquarters alongside our legal team, to effectively solidify our sustainability approach, framework and efforts. As a result, we can effectively cross-collaborate within the organization to execute our ESG ambitions and track our progress. Maxeon has embedded sustainability into its company culture, as reflected in it’s corporate key results (Maxeon’s version of “Key Performance Indicators”). Employees are asked to align their individual objectives to Maxeon’s corporate key results in which ESG was identified as critical to achieving broader company goals, during the annual performance review exercise.
We also strive to maintain the integrity of our products and services. We have a Quality Policy which sets standards with regard to product quality and reliability. In addition to implementing comprehensive quality management systems, we provide our customers with a long-term warranty. All of our manufacturing plants and research and development facilities are certified to internationally recognized standards, such as ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, ISO45001: 2018 Occupational Safety and Health Management System and ISO14001: 2015 Environmental Management System.
We are subject to laws and regulations concerning the environment, safety matters, regulation of chemicals and product safety in the countries where we manufacture and sell our products or otherwise operate our business. As a result, we have established internal policies and standards that aid our operations in systematically identifying relevant hazards, assessing and mitigating risks and communicating risk information. These internal policies and standards are in place to ensure our operations comply with relevant environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. In addition, we conduct periodic audits of our operations. The potential risks we identify are integrated into our business planning, including investments in reducing safety and health risks to our associates and reducing our impact on the environment. We have also dedicated resources to monitor legislative and regulatory developments and emerging issues to anticipate future requirements and undertake policy advocacy when strategically relevant.
A notable part of our commitment to sustainable development and operations is our commitment to transparent reporting of ESG performance indicators, as we recognize the importance of this information to investors, lenders and others in understanding how we assess sustainability information and evaluate risks and opportunities. We publish an annual sustainability report (the “Sustainability Report”) prepared in accordance to the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, Core option, aligned to the SASB, SGX Sustainability Reporting requirement and the United Nations SDGs, which includes our strategy, key performance indicators and achievements. Our historical sustainability reports are available on our website at https://www.maxeon.com/ under the heading “ESG and Sustainability”.
On July 17, 2020, Maxeon issued $200.0 million of Green Convertible Notes and received total net proceeds of $176 million. We published our first Eligible Green Expenditures Progress Report in July 2021 for the period from July 17, 2020 to June 30, 2021, disclosing the use of $176 million in net proceeds to finance or refinance, in whole or in part, existing and new “Eligible Green Expenditures”, which is defined as capital expenditures and research and development expenditures related to the development or manufacture of products, key components and
machinery primarily dedicated to solar energy generation by us or any of our subsidiaries. Specifically, the amounts were allocated to patents and other intellectual property, manufacturing equipment capital expenditures, international research and development operating expenditures and operating and capital expenditures associated with our Product Collaboration Agreement with SunPower. See “Item 7.B. Related Party Transactions – Agreements with SunPower – Product Collaboration Agreement.” In August 2022, we published our final Eligible Green Expenditures Progress Report for the period July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 to report the allocation of the remaining net proceeds from the issuance together with our Green Bond Assurance report. In addition, we also published our Green Bond Framework in August 2022. The Eligible Green Expenditures Progress Reports and our Green Bond Framework are available on our website at https://www.maxeon.com/, under the heading “ESG and Sustainability.”
Nothing on our website, including our Sustainability Report, Eligible Green Expenditures Progress Report, Green Bond Framework, Modern Slavery Statement and/or sections thereof, is deemed incorporated by reference into this Form 20-F.
ITEM 4.A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS
5.A. OPERATING RESULTS
This operating and financial review should be read together with the section captioned “Item 4.B. Business Overview” and the consolidated and combined financial statements of Maxeon and the related notes to those statements included elsewhere in this Form 20-F. Among other things, those financial statements include more detailed information regarding the basis of preparation for the following information. The consolidated and combined financial statements of Maxeon have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, such as those set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Form 20-F, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Please see discussion under “Special Note About Forward-Looking Statements” in this Form 20-F.
The discussion and analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of certain items for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021, and year-to-year comparison between fiscal year ended January 2, 2022, and January 3, 2021, that are not included in this Form 20-F can be found in “Item 5. Operating And Financial Review And Prospects” of our Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2022 filed on March 24, 2022, which is incorporated by reference herein.
We manufacture and supply solar cells and panels, and have begun bundling adjacent products such as microinverters, to resellers and commercial and residential end customers. We sell our solar panels and “Beyond the Panel” products primarily to dealers, project developers, system integrators and distributors, and recognize revenue at a point in time when control of such products transfers to the customer, which generally occurs upon shipment or delivery depending on the terms of the contracts with the customer. There are no rights of return. Other than standard warranty obligations, there are no significant post-shipment obligations (including installation, training or customer acceptance clauses) with any of our customers that could have an impact on revenue recognition. Our revenue recognition policy is consistent across all geographic areas. See “Note 5. Revenue from Contracts with Customers” to our consolidated and combined financial statements.
Our consolidated and combined financial statements have been derived (i) from the consolidated financial statements and accounting records of SunPower as if we had operated on our own prior to the Spin-off, for the periods prior to August 26, 2020 and (ii) subsequent to August 26, 2020, the consolidated financial statements of the Company and its subsidiaries with the Company as an independent public company.
During fiscal years 2022 and 2021, we had sales of $283.3 million and $225.9 million, respectively, to SunPower representing the sale of solar modules to SunPower. The pricing term prior to the Spin-off was made at transfer prices determined based on management’s assessment of market-based pricing terms. Subsequent to the Spin-off, pricing was based on the Supply Agreement with SunPower, as amended. As of February 14, 2022, we entered into the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement which terminates and replaces the Supply Agreement, pursuant to which the Company is supplying SunPower with IBC Modules for use in residential installations in the Domestic Territory. We amended the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement on January 5, 2023 to increase minimum product volumes, update the pricing of IBC Modules for 2023 and extend exclusivity provisions that prohibit us from selling Maxeon 6 IBC Modules to anyone other than SunPower for use in the Domestic Territory until December 31, 2023. The 2022/2023 Supply Agreement continues until December 31, 2023, subject to customary early termination provisions triggered by a breach of the other party (with the right to cure) and insolvency events affecting the other party. The pricing of our modules sold to SunPower is fixed for 2022 and 2023, based on the power output (in watts) of the IBC Module, but the pricing has been updated to reflect current market trends. Additionally, either party may terminate undelivered volumes of Maxeon 6 IBC Modules during 2023 if the parties fail to reach an agreement adjusting pricing in the event of fluctuations in cost of polysilicon above a specified threshold.
The Company and SunPower entered into the 2024/2025 Supply Agreement with an effective date of December 31, 2022. Under the 2024/2025 Supply Agreement, in 2024 and 2025 the Company will supply certain volumes of Maxeon 6 IBC Modules to SunPower for use in residential installations in the Domestic Territory. The 2024/2025 Supply Agreement continues until December 31, 2025, subject to customary early termination provisions triggered by a breach of the other party (with the right to cure) and insolvency events affecting the other party. Following the entry into the 2024/2025 Supply Agreement, the pricing of our sales to SunPower contains an indexed-pricing provision for certain production commodities. In the event that adjustments to the final module price result in an increase in or discount to the final module price above certain thresholds, either party may terminate the 2024/2025 Supply Agreement for convenience without penalty or damages subject to certain terms and conditions.
See “Item 7.B. Related Party Transactions.”
Basis of Presentation
Standalone financial statements have not been historically prepared for our business. Our consolidated and combined financial statements have been derived (i) from the consolidated financial statements and accounting records of SunPower as if we had operated on our own prior to the Spin-off, for the periods prior to August 26, 2020 and (ii) subsequent to August 26, 2020, the consolidated financial statements of the Company and its subsidiaries with the Company as an independent public company. All periods presented have been accounted for in conformity with GAAP and pursuant to the regulations of the SEC.
For further information on the basis of presentation of the combined financial statements see “Note 1. Background and Basis of Presentation” to our consolidated and combined financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 20-F.
Trends and Uncertainties
Our business is subject to industry-specific seasonal fluctuations including changes in weather patterns and economic incentives that are based on tax credits, among other factors that drive demand in the latter half of the year. Sales have historically reflected these seasonal trends with the largest percentage of total revenues realized during the last two quarters of a fiscal year.
Volatility in the applied trade and tariff policies of the United States has created market challenges for us, and for our supplier and customer bases, since the beginning of 2018. Safeguard tariffs imposed in February 2018
pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 had significant market effects during the four ensuing years. While a technology-based exclusion for IBC products muted the impact on us, our solar products based on other technologies were and remain subject to the safeguard tariffs. The safeguard measure was extended in February 2022 for an additional four-year period. Bifacial cells and modules were initially subject to the safeguard measure, then excluded, then re-covered, then re-excluded pursuant to a November 2021 U.S. Court of International Trade Decision, and on January 14, 2022, the Biden Administration filed a notice of appeal against the decision before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. During the same timeframe, tariffs imposed on goods of PRC origin pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 significantly affected trade in solar power system components and finished products. The Section 301 tariffs remain in force and have no specified expiration date.
During 2021, a distinct set of challenges arose for the U.S. solar market as a result of a “withhold release order” (“WRO”) imposed pursuant to Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 on products whose upstream silicon materials are sourced, or suspected of being sourced, from Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd. and its affiliates. The basis for this WRO was a finding that Hoshine and its affiliates utilize and benefit from forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Province. U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained numerous incoming shipments of silica-based products (including PV solar modules) at ports of entry and subjected importers to a lengthy and arduous process of proving that no forced labor was involved at the furthest upstream stages of their supply chains. In response, some companies altogether stopped trying to ship solar products to the United States; at a number of under-construction U.S. solar projects, expected module deliveries did not materialize. The WRO remains in force and has been expanded legislatively via the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”), signed into law on December 23, 2021, which establishes a presumption that all goods processed in Xinjiang Province utilize forced labor and are therefore ineligible for entry into the U.S. market. Given Xinjiang Province’s major role in global production of polysilicon and upstream silica materials such as MGSi, and given China’s current pre-eminence as a location for polysilicon ingoting and wafering, these developments necessitate and are triggering a significant re-configuration of many manufacturers’ supply chains for the U.S. market.
These regulatory disruptions—on top of longstanding anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese and Taiwanese solar cells and modules—have resulted and may continue to result in a wide range of impacts to the U.S. solar industry, global manufacturing market and our business, including market volatility, price fluctuations, and demand suppression.
Aside from the effects on our suppliers, customers, partners, and projects, we did not incur tariff charges for fiscal years 2022 and 2021.
We continue to focus on the sale of our lower cost, high efficiency Performance line of solar panels to the United States market,and plan to add up to 1.8 GW of Performance line capacity, with cells produced in our Fab 3 Malaysia facility, and module production in Mexico. Sales of these products are designated for the United States market. In addition, our Huansheng JV and its affiliates in China have expanded capacity from 5 GW in 2020 to more than 12 GW in 2022, with plans for expansion of capacity in 2023 to 20 GW. Maxeon maintains up to 66% off-take rights of this expanded capacity for our international markets which includes the capacity made available through the Temporary HSTJ Agreement (refer to Item 7.B. Related Party Transaction - Agreements with TZE in Connection with the Huansheng JV).
In April 2022, Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) initiated an anti-circumvention inquiry (“ACI”) on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from China (“China AD/CVD Orders”) and published an affirmative preliminary determination for the scope on December 8, 2022. However, on December 19, 2022, Commerce issued a memorandum clarifying that modules assembled in (and exported to the United States from) third countries, from cells fabricated in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam, are not covered by the preliminary determination and indeed are not “inquiry merchandise” for purposes of the ACI. Accordingly, Maxeon’s modules assembled in Mexico are unaffected by the ACI.
We continue to see significant and increasing opportunities in technologies and capabilities adjacent to our core product offerings that can significantly reduce our customers’ CCOE, including the integration of energy storage and EV charging, managed by a whole home digital energy experience complemented by value-add services. We have
made investments to realize those opportunities, resulting in the launch of SunPower One – our integrated home energy management solution, enabling our customers to make intelligent energy choices by addressing how they buy energy, how they use energy, and when they use it. SunPower One represents the next major step in our “Beyond the Panel” initiative, which started with integrating advanced module-level control electronics to our portfolio of technology designed to enable longer series strings and significant balance of system components cost reductions in large arrays. We currently offer solar panels that use microinverters designed to eliminate the need to mount or assemble additional components on the roof or the side of a building and enable optimization and monitoring at the solar panel level to ensure maximum energy production by the solar system.
We continue to improve our unique, differentiated solar cell and panel technology. We emphasize improvement of our solar cell efficiency and LCOE and CCOE performance through enhancement of our existing products, development of new products and reduction of manufacturing cost and complexity in conjunction with our overall cost-control strategies.
We previously reduced our overall solar cell manufacturing output in an ongoing effort to match profitable demand levels, with increasing bias toward our highest efficiency Maxeon 3 and Maxeon 6 products, which utilize our latest solar cell technology, and our Performance line of solar panels, which utilize conventional cell technology. In fiscal year 2022, we completed the conversion of our Fab 3 Malaysia facility from Maxeon 5 to Maxeon 6 production capacity. This results in close to 500 MW of Maxeon 6 production capacity. In addition, we have started operating our pilot line for our new Maxeon 7 technology. Given our expectations related to the value proposition of Maxeon 7 and heightened demand for solar panels, we are considering adding incremental capacity for the manufacture of Maxeon 7 products at one of our Philippines cell manufacturing facilities that is currently not in use. We are currently in the process of making the necessary preparations for such a capacity expansion and have reserved a portion of our 2023 planned capex for that purpose.
The supply chain within the solar industry has met many challenges since the COVID-19 global pandemic commenced. Logistics costs have been volatile, and critical raw materials, such as polysilicon, have experienced cost surges for various reasons such as the China Energy Rationalization, import requirements such as UFLPA and the Covid-19 global pandemic.
We work with our suppliers and partners to ensure the reliability of our supply chain. We have contracted with a supplier for multi-year supply agreements, under which we have annual minimum purchase obligations. For more information about our purchase commitments and obligations, see “Item 5.B Liquidity and Capital Resources— Material Cash Requirements” and “Note 9. Commitments and Contingencies” to our consolidated and combined financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 20-F.
We currently believe our supplier relationships and various short- and long-term contracts will afford us the volume of material and services required to meet our planned output; however, we face the risk that the pricing of critical material may not be competitive, resulting in a higher manufacturing cost which we may be unable to pass on.
For a further discussion of trends, uncertainties and other factors that could impact our operating results, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this Form 20F.
Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Estimates
Our significant accounting policies are set out in “Note 2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our consolidated and combined financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 20-F, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of our audited consolidated and combined financial statements. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
Critical accounting policies are those that reflect significant judgments or uncertainties, and which could potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions. We have described below what we believe are our most critical accounting policies.
Due to the macro-economic trends such as the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued heightened geopolitical tensions, there has been continued uncertainty and disruption in the global economy and financial markets. We are not aware of any specific event or circumstance that would require updates to our estimates and judgments or require us to revise the carrying value of our assets or liabilities as of the date of issuance of this Form 20-F. These estimates may change as new events occur and additional information is obtained. Actual results could differ materially from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
There were no other significant changes in our critical accounting estimates during fiscal year 2022 compared to those described below.
The following paragraphs describe the significant estimates and assumptions applied by management in the preparation of the consolidated and combined financial statements.
We sell our solar panels and balance of system components primarily to dealers, project developers, system integrators and distributors, and recognize revenue at a point in time when control of such products transfers to these customers, which generally occurs upon shipment or delivery depending on the terms of the contracts with the customer. In determining the transaction price for revenue recognition, the Company evaluates whether the price is subject to refund or adjustment in determining the consideration to which the Company expects to be entitled. There are no rights of return; however, the Company may be required to pay consideration to the customer in certain instances of delayed delivery. The Company then allocates the transaction price to each distinct performance obligation based on their relative standalone selling price, when applicable. Other than standard warranty obligations, there are no significant post-shipment obligations (including installation, training or customer acceptance clauses) with any of our customers that could have an impact on revenue recognition. As a practical expedient, the Company does not adjust the transaction price for the effects of a significant financing component if, at contract inception, the period between customer payment and the transfer of goods or services is expected to be one year or less. In the case of the existence of a significant financing component, the amount of the consideration is adjusted to reflect what the cash selling price of the promised service would have been if payments had occurred as control of the service was transferred to the customer. The discount rate used in determining the significant financing component is the rate that would be reflected in a separate financing transaction between the Company and the customer at contract inception. Our revenue recognition policy is consistent across all geographic areas.
Allowance for Credit losses
For fiscal years 2022 and 2021, we maintained allowances for credit losses for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make required payments. A considerable amount of judgment is required to assess the likelihood of the ultimate realization of accounts receivable. We make our estimates of the collectability of our accounts receivable by analyzing historical bad debts, specific customer creditworthiness and current economic trends.
Accounting Standards Codification No. 326, Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (“ASC 326”) requires measurement and recognition of expected credit losses for financial assets held. We recognize an allowance for credit loss at the time a receivable is recorded based on our estimate of expected credit losses and adjust this estimate over the life of the receivable as needed. An account receivable is written off against the allowance for credit loss made after all collection effort has ceased. We evaluate the aggregation and risk characteristics of a receivable pool and develop loss rates that reflect historical collections, current forecasts of future economic conditions over the time horizon we are exposed to credit risk, and payment terms or conditions that may materially affect future forecasts. Historically, credit losses have been within our estimates.
Inventories are accounted for on a first-in-first-out basis and requires judgment in determining the realizability and the valuation of inventories. We evaluate the realizability of our inventories based on assumptions about expected demand and market conditions. Our assumption of expected demand is developed based on our analysis of bookings, sales backlog, sales pipeline, market forecast, and competitive intelligence. Our assumption of expected demand is compared to available inventory, production capacity, future polysilicon purchase commitments, available third-party inventory, and growth plans. Our factory production plans, which drive materials requirement planning, are established based on our assumptions of expected demand. We respond to reductions in expected demand by temporarily reducing manufacturing output and adjusting expected valuation assumptions as necessary. In addition, expected demand by geography has changed historically due to changes in the availability and size of government mandates and economic incentives. We do not expect that there will be material change in future on estimates or assumptions that we used to record inventory at the lower of cost and net realizable value. However, if estimates or assumptions change based on unforeseen manner, we may be exposed to losses that could be material.
We evaluate our long-lived assets, including property, plant and equipment, and definite-lived intangible assets, for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances arise. This evaluation includes consideration of technology obsolescence that may indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. The assessments require significant judgment in determining whether such events or changes have occurred. Factors considered important that could result in an impairment review include significant changes in the manner of use of a long-lived asset or in its physical condition, a significant adverse change in the business climate or economic trends that could affect the value of a long-lived asset, significant under-performance relative to expected historical or projected future operating results, or a current expectation that, more likely than not, a long-lived asset will be sold or otherwise disposed of significantly before the end of its previously estimated useful life.
For purposes of the impairment evaluation, long-lived assets are grouped with other assets and liabilities at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets and liabilities. We exercise judgment in assessing such groupings and levels. We then compare the estimated future undiscounted net cash flows expected to be generated by the asset group (including the eventual disposition of the asset group at residual value) to the asset group’s carrying value to determine if the asset group is recoverable. If our estimate of future undiscounted net cash flows is insufficient to recover the carrying value of the asset group, we record an impairment loss in the amount by which the carrying value of the asset group exceeds the fair value. Fair value is generally measured based on (i) internally developed discounted cash flows for the asset group, (ii) third-party valuations, and (iii) quoted market prices, if available. If the fair value of an asset group is determined to be less than its carrying value, an impairment in the amount of the difference is recorded in the period that the impairment indicator occurs. Apart for the impairment charge of $0.4 million as a result of the exit activity in connection to the closure of our module factory in Porcelette, France, we have not recorded any impairment charges for fiscal year 2022.
We generally provide a 25-year standard warranty for the solar panels that we manufacture for defects in materials and workmanship and for greater than promised declines in power performance. Effective from January 1, 2022, this has been extended to a 40-year standard warranty for certain Maxeon line modules in certain countries. The warranty provides that we will repair or replace any defective solar panels during the warranty period. In addition, we pass through to customers long-term warranties from the original equipment manufacturers of certain system components, such as inverters. Warranties of 25 years from solar panel suppliers are standard in the solar industry, while certain system components carry warranty periods ranging from 5 to 20 years.
The warranty excludes system output shortfalls attributable to force majeure events, customer curtailment, irregular weather, and other similar factors. In the event that the system output falls below the warrantied performance level during the applicable warranty period, and provided that the shortfall is not caused by a factor that
is excluded from the performance warranty, the warranty provides that we will elect to either (a) repair; (b) replace; or (c) pay the customer a liquidated damage based on the computation stipulated in the warranty agreement.
We maintain reserves to cover the expected costs that could result from these warranties. Our expected costs are generally in the form of product replacement or repair. Warranty reserves are based on our best estimate of such costs and are recognized as a cost of revenue. We continuously monitor product returns for warranty failures and maintain a reserve for the related warranty expenses based on various factors including historical warranty claims, results of accelerated lab testing, field monitoring, vendor reliability estimates, and data on industry averages for similar products. Due to the potential for variability in these underlying factors, the difference between our estimated costs and our actual costs could be material to our combined financial statements. If actual product failure rates or the frequency or severity of reported claims differ from our estimates or if there are delays in our responsiveness to outages, we may be required to revise our estimated warranty liability. Historically, warranty costs have been within our expectations
Investments in Equity Interests
Investments in entities in which we can exercise significant influence, but do not own a majority equity interest or otherwise control, are accounted for under the equity method. We record our share of the results of these entities as “Equity in losses of unconsolidated investees” on the Consolidated and Combined Statements of Operations. We monitor our investments for other-than-temporary impairment by considering factors such as current economic and market conditions and the operating performance of the entities and record reductions in carrying values when necessary. The fair value of privately-held investments is estimated using the best available information as of the valuation date, including current earnings trends, discounted projected future cash flows, and other company specific information, including recent financing rounds.
Accounting for Income Taxes
The Company recognizes deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected tax consequences of temporary differences between the tax bases of assets and liabilities and their reported amounts using enacted tax rates in effect for the year the differences are expected to reverse. The Company records a valuation allowance to reduce the deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized which depends on the ability to generate sufficient taxable income in the related jurisdiction in the future. In evaluating our ability to recover our deferred tax assets, we consider the available evidence, including the accumulated losses, timing and amount of reversal of taxable temporary differences, and our forecast future taxable income.
The Company records accruals for uncertain tax positions when the Company believes that it is not more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained on examination by the taxing authorities based on the technical merits of the position. The Company makes adjustments to these accruals when facts and circumstances change, such as the closing of a tax audit or the refinement of an estimate. The provision for income taxes include the effects of adjustments for uncertain tax positions, as well as any related interest and penalties.
As applicable, interest and penalties on tax contingencies are included in “Provision for income taxes” in the Consolidated and Combined Statements of Operations and such amounts were not material for the period presented. In addition, foreign exchange gains (losses) may result from estimated tax liabilities, which are expected to be settled in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.
Variable Interest Entities (“VIE”)
We regularly evaluate our relationships and involvement with unconsolidated VIEs and our other equity and cost method investments, to determine whether we have a controlling financial interest in them or have become the primary beneficiary, thereby requiring us to consolidate their financial results into our financial statements. If we determine that we hold a variable interest, we then evaluate whether we are the primary beneficiary. If we determine that we are the primary beneficiary, we will consolidate the VIE. The determination of whether we are the primary beneficiary is based upon whether we have the power to direct the activities that most directly impact the economic performance of the VIE and whether we absorb any losses or receive any benefits that would be potentially significant to the VIE.
Basis of Preparation of the Combined Financial Statements Prior to Spin-off
For the purpose of the combined financial statements prior to the Spin-off, management believes that all allocations have been performed on a reasonable basis and reflect the services received by the Company, the cost incurred on behalf of the Company and the assets and liabilities of the Company. Although, the combined financial statements reflect management’s best estimate of all historical costs related to the Company, this may, however, not necessarily reflect what the results of operations, financial position, or cash flows would have been had the Company been a separate entity, nor the future results of the Company as it will exist upon completion of the proposed separation.
Components of Results of Operations
We recognize revenue from the sale of solar panels and related solar system components, primarily to dealers, system integrators and distributors, and in some cases on a multi-year, firm commitment basis. For a discussion of how and when we recognize revenue, see “Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Estimates–Revenue Recognition.”
Cost of Revenue
We generally recognize our cost of revenue in the same period that we recognize related revenue. Cost of revenue includes actual cost of material, labor and manufacturing overhead incurred for revenue-producing units shipped. Cost of revenue also includes associated warranty costs and other costs. The cost of solar panels is the single largest cost element in our cost of revenue. Our cost of solar panels consists primarily of: (i) polysilicon, silicon ingots and wafers used in the production of solar cells, (ii) other materials and chemicals including glass, frame, and backing, and (iii) direct labor costs and assembly costs. Other factors that contribute to our cost of revenue include salaries and personnel-related costs, depreciation, facilities related charges, freight, as well as charges related to sales of raw materials inventory and write-downs.
Our gross loss is affected by a number of factors, including average selling prices for our solar power components, our product mix, our actual manufacturing costs, the utilization rate of our solar cell manufacturing facilities, inventory net realizable value charges, losses on third party polysilicon sales, and actual overhead costs.
Research and Development
Our research and development activities are undertaken by our team in Singapore, together with our Silicon Valley research and development lab established in fiscal year 2022. Prior to the expiration of the Product Collaboration Agreement with SunPower in fiscal year 2022, SunPower performed research and development work in collaboration with Maxeon in SunPower’s Silicon Valley research and development labs. Research and development expense consists of salaries and related personnel costs, overheads for the labs and equipment, and the cost of solar panel materials, various prototyping materials, and services used for the development and testing of products. Research and development expense is reported inclusive of payments made under collaborative arrangements. Please refer to “Item 7.B Related Party Transactions.”
Sales, General and Administrative
Sales, general and administrative expense consists primarily of salaries and related personnel costs, professional fees, bad debt expenses, and other selling and marketing expenses.
Restructuring expense of $2.1 million in fiscal year 2022 consists of mainly costs associated with the Company’s June 2022 restructuring plan to reduce costs and focus on improving cash flow, the majority of which is related to the closure of our module factory in Porcelette, France. Restructuring expense of $8.1 million in fiscal year 2021 consists primarily of costs associated with the Company’s May 2021 restructuring plan to reduce costs and focus on improving cash flow, the majority of which related to the closure of a manufacturing facility in Toulouse, France. See “Note 8. Restructuring” to our consolidated and combined financial statements.
Other Expense, Net
Interest expense primarily relates to the Green Convertible Notes, 2027 Notes and other debt facilities.
Other, net includes primarily loss on extinguishment of debt, gains or losses on foreign exchange and remeasurement of the Prepaid Forward associated with our Green Convertible Notes.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for temporary differences between financial statement and income tax bases of assets and liabilities. Valuation allowances are provided against deferred tax assets when management cannot conclude that it is more likely than not that some portion or all deferred tax assets will be realized.
We currently benefit from a preferential tax rate of 5% in the Philippines in accordance with our registration with the PEZA. We also benefit from a tax holiday granted by the Malaysian government to our former joint venture AUOSP (now our wholly owned subsidiary, SunPower Malaysia Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd.) subject to certain hiring, capital spending, and manufacturing requirements. The third and final five-year tranche of this incentive was granted a 70% tax exemption and will expire on June 30, 2026. Malaysian Investment Development Authority ("MIDA") and the Company have been in discussions on additional conditions required to reinstate the full tax exemption that the Company was granted previously. We have agreed to the conditions for such reinstatement with MIDA and are waiting for formal approval from the Malaysian Government. As the formal approval have not been received, we recorded the tax provision based on the 70% tax exemption status for our Malaysian subsidiary. Our Swiss entity, SunPower Systems Sarl is subject to the statutory tax rate after the 2019 Switzerland tax reform that eliminated the auxiliary company designation starting fiscal year 2020. For additional information see “Note 2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” and “Note 13. Income Taxes” to our consolidated and combined financial statements.
Equity in Losses of Unconsolidated Investees
Equity in losses of unconsolidated investees represents our reportable share of losses generated from entities in which we own an equity interest accounted for under the equity method.
Net Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests
We determined that we hold controlling interests in certain less-than-wholly owned entities and have fully consolidated these entities as a result. Noncontrolling interests represent the portion of net assets in these consolidated subsidiaries that are not attributable, directly or indirectly, to us. Net losses attributable to the noncontrolling interests represent the portion of our net loss allocated to the noncontrolling interests.
Results of Operations
Set forth below is a discussion of our results of operations for the periods indicated and the summary of selected financial results derived from our consolidated and combined financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Form 20-F:
|Fiscal Year Ended|
|January 1, 2023||January 2, 2022|
|Selected Consolidated and Combined Statements of Operations Data:|
|Revenue||$||1,060,113 ||$||783,279 |
|Cost of revenue||1,108,061 ||812,293 |
|Operating expenses||152,346 ||143,433 |
|Other expense, net||(25,589)||(66,616)|
|Loss before income taxes and equity in losses of unconsolidated investees||(225,883)||(239,063)|
|Provision for income taxes||(32,191)||(203)|
|Equity in losses of unconsolidated investees||(9,072)||(16,480)|
|Net loss attributable to the stockholders||$||(267,424)||$||(254,520)|
Revenue and Cost of Revenue
|Fiscal Year Ended|
|January 1, 2023||January 2, 2022|
|Revenue||$||1,060,113 ||$||783,279 |
|Cost of revenue||1,108,061 ||812,293 |
Gross loss percentage
During fiscal year 2022, we recognized revenue of $1,060.1 million from sales of modules and components with shipments of 2,348MW, of which $283.3 million, or 26.7% of total revenue, represented sales of solar modules to SunPower. The pricing term for the sale of solar modules to SunPower was based on the Supply Agreement with SunPower, which was mutually terminated in February 2022 and replaced with the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement. Maxeon’s cost of revenue for IBC Modules had historically been negatively impacted by the increase in logistics rates all along the supply chain and the increase in cost of certain raw materials such as glass, silicon, and aluminum. Under the Supply Agreement, Maxeon was unable to pass through cost increases to SunPower because the Supply Agreement contained fixed prices established in 2020 that were not subject to market-based adjustment. The 2022/2023 Supply Agreement also contains fixed pricing for 2022 and 2023 based on the power output (in watts) of the IBC Module, but the pricing has been updated to reflect current market trends. The 2022/2023 Supply Agreement also provides that either party may terminate undelivered volumes of Maxeon 6 IBC Modules during 2023 if the parties fail to reach an agreement adjusting pricing in the event of fluctuations in cost of polysilicon above a specified threshold. Refer to “Item 7.B. Related Party Transactions.”
For fiscal year 2022, except for revenue transactions with SunPower, we had no other customer that accounted for more than 10% of revenue. The increase of $276.8 million in revenue as compared to fiscal year 2021 was
primarily due to higher sales for the DG business in the United States, Europe and Australia, and was mainly attributable to a combination of higher volume and better prices as a result of various factors including the 2022/2023 Supply Agreement, a higher proportion of sales involving newer technology and price recovery for increasing costs. The increase was also attributable to sales for the utility-scale business into the United States, for which the first shipment took place in April 2022, accounting for $131.1 million in fiscal year 2022. This was partially offset by a decrease of $93.0 million in lower utility-scale revenue from other countries, primarily driven by lower volume, consistent with the selective profitability-based approach given the highly competitive market and rising input costs.
During fiscal year 2021, we recognized revenue from sales of modules and components of $783.3 million with shipments of 1,956MW, of which $225.9 million, or 28.8% of total revenue, represented sales of solar modules to SunPower. For fiscal year 2021, except for revenue transactions with SunPower, we had no customers that accounted for more than 10% of revenue. Cost of revenue was $1,108.1 million in fiscal year 2022. The increase of $295.8 million in cost of revenue compared to fiscal year 2021 was primarily due to higher volumes and higher materials costs. Our cost of revenue for Maxeon line and Performance line solar modules have continued to be impacted by the increase in raw materials cost such as glass, polysilicon, and aluminum, as well as Performance line module-supply from our Huansheng JV. We estimate that we paid $11.3 million above the market price for polysilicon, as we were bound by our long-term fixed supply agreements for polysilicon utilized in our manufacturing process, which is the difference between our contractual cost under the long-term fixed supply agreements and the price of polysilicon available in the market as derived from publicly available information, multiplied by the volume of polysilicon we have consumed. The higher cost was also driven by higher inventory reserves and higher under-utilization cost, mainly arising from the Performance line module supply to United States utility-scale business, a one-off settlement of $15.2 million with a polysilicon supplier to resolve a contract dispute regarding the applicability of a price escalation clause and incremental expense of $1.3 million in connection with the re-evaluation of our Maxeon 7 capacity growth plan. Included in cost of revenue is $8.3 million relating to losses incurred as a result of ancillary sales to third parties of excess polysilicon procured under the long-term fixed supply agreements.
Cost of revenue was $812.3 million in fiscal year 2021 and includes $14.3 million related to losses incurred as a result of ancillary sales to third parties of excess polysilicon procured under the long-term fixed supply agreements. In addition, we estimated that we paid $47.2 million above the market price for polysilicon, as we were bound by our long-term fixed supply agreements for polysilicon utilized in our manufacturing process, which is the difference between our contractual cost under the long-term fixed supply agreements and the price of polysilicon available in the market as derived from publicly available information, multiplied by the volume of polysilicon we have consumed.
Revenue by Geography
|Fiscal Year Ended|
|January 1, 2023||January 2, 2022|
|United States||$||427,111 ||$||227,499 |
|France||80,872 ||88,454 |
|126,195 ||83,957 |
Rest of world(1)
|425,935 ||383,369 |
|$||1,060,113 ||$||783,279 |
(1)Revenue included under “Rest of the world” comprise of countries that are individually less than 10% for the periods presented.
Revenues are attributed to U.S. and international geographies primarily based on the destination of the shipments. The increase in sales attributed to the U.S by 87.7% or $199.6 million compared to fiscal year 2021 was mainly due to sales for the utility-scale business into the United States, for which the first shipment took place in
April 2022, accounting for $131.1 million in fiscal year 2022. In addition, there was higher sales to SunPower of $283.3 million for fiscal year 2022 as compared to $227.5 million for fiscal year 2021.
|Fiscal Year Ended|
|January 1, 2023||January 2, 2022|
|Research and development||$||49,682 ||$||46,527 |
|Sales, general and administrative||100,546 ||88,822 |
|Restructuring charges||2,118 ||8,084 |
|Total operating expenses||$||152,346 ||$||143,433 |
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenses were $49.7 million in fiscal year 2022, primarily associated with expenditures on our Maxeon 6 and Maxeon 7 cell and panel technology, comprised primarily of compensation expense (including stock-based compensation) of $30.0 million, as well as facilities expense of $6.0 million, research and development materials of $3.9 million, expenses for leased equipment of $3.1 million, external services of $2.4 million and depreciation and amortization expense of $1.5 million. Included in these expenses is $16.4 million related to the Product Collaboration Agreement with SunPower, which has now expired. Please refer to “Item 7.B Related Party Transactions.” The increase in research and development expenses of $3.2 million as compared to fiscal year 2021 is mainly due to more research and development personnel and higher compensation charges of $4.3 million, and higher depreciation charge of $0.7 million as the Company has more assets with the expiration of the Product Collaboration Agreement. This was offset by a lower expenses for leased equipment of $2.0 million
Research and development expenses were $46.5 million in fiscal year 2021, primarily associated with expenditures on our Maxeon 5, Maxeon 6 and Maxeon 7 cell and panel technology comprised primarily of compensation expense (including stock-based compensation) of $25.7 million, as well as facilities expense of $5.2 million, expenses for leased equipment of $5.1 million, research and development materials of $4.1 million, external consulting of $2.4 million and depreciation and amortization expense of $0.8 million. Included in these expenses is $30.9 million related to the Product Collaboration Agreement with SunPower. Please refer to “Item 7.B Related Party Transactions.”
Sales, General and Administrative Expenses
Sales, general and administrative expenses were $100.5 million in fiscal year 2022 and were comprised primarily of $47.7 million of compensation expense (including stock-based compensation) and $23.6 million of professional fees and outside services, as well as $7.6 million of equipment related expenses, $5.8 million of insurance expense, $2.8 million of facilities related costs including rent, utilities and maintenance, and $1.5 million of depreciation expense. Included in these expenses is a net credit of $3.0 million related to the transition services agreement with SunPower. The increase of sales, general and administrative expenses of $11.7 million as compared to 2021 is primarily driven by higher compensation expenses of $7.1 million due to increase headcount resulting in higher remuneration, lower net release from bad debt reserve of $1.9 million due to one-off reversal in fiscal year 2021 and $2.4 million from higher marketing investments on roadshows and exhibition as well as travel expenses due to ease of travel restrictions
Sales, general and administrative expenses were $88.8 million in fiscal year 2021 and comprised primarily of $40.6 million of compensation expense (including stock-based compensation), $25.3 million of professional fees and outside services, $6.5 million of insurance expense, $6.1 million of equipment related expenses, $3.9 million of
facilities related costs including rent, utilities and maintenance, and $1.4 million of depreciation expense. Included in these expenses is a net charge of $5.2 million related to the transition services agreement with SunPower.
Restructuring expense for fiscal year 2022 was $2.1 million. The majority of the cost relates to our June 2022 restructuring plan on the planned closure of our module factory in Porcelette, France. Restructuring expense was $8.1 million in fiscal year 2021. The majority of the cost relates to our May 2021 restructuring plan on the planned closure of our module factory in Toulouse, France
See “Note 8. Restructuring” to the consolidated and combined financial statements for further information regarding our restructuring plans.
Other expense, net
|Fiscal Year Ended|
|January 1, 2023||January 2, 2022|
|Other expense, net|
|Interest expense, net||$||(27,812)||$||(27,848)|
|Loss on extinguishment of debt||— ||(5,075)|
|Other, net||2,223 ||(33,693)|
|Other expense, net||$||(25,589)||$||(66,616)|
Of the total $27.8 million in interest expense incurred during fiscal year 2022, $16.4 million relates to the Green Convertible Notes due 2025 and $7.1 million relates to the 2027 Notes. The remaining interest expense relates to the Company’s other outstanding debt arrangements.
Of the total $27.8 million in interest expense incurred during fiscal year 2021, $23.7 million relates to the Green Convertible Notes due 2025, $3.5 million relates to our term loan and working capital facilities that were terminated during the year. The remaining interest expense relates to the Company’s other outstanding debt arrangements.
Loss on extinguishment of debt of $5.1 million arose from the write-off of unamortized debt issuance cost following the termination of our $50.0 million working capital facility in September 2021 and the expiration of the availability period for draw down of our $75.0 million term loans in August 2021.
Other, net for fiscal year 2022 primarily comprised of a $2.4 million gain on the remeasurement of Prepaid Forward associated with the Green Convertible Notes and $1.0 million gain arising from the recognition of reimbursement of litigation cost, partially offset by a foreign exchange loss of $0.4 million and loss of $1.5 million on derivative instruments.
Other, net for fiscal year 2021 primarily comprised of $34.5 million loss on remeasurement of the Prepaid Forward associated with the Green Convertible Notes and a loss of $3.5 million on derivative instruments, partially offset by foreign exchange gain of $1.4 million and a gain of $3.0 million related to the deemed disposal of our equity ownership in Huansheng JV. There was a capital injection of RMB270.0 million (equivalent to $41.6 million) by TZE into Huansheng JV in September 2021 which diluted our equity ownership of the joint venture from 20.0% to 16.3%.
|Fiscal Year Ended|
|January 1, 2023||January 2, 2022|
|Provision for income taxes||$||(32,191)||$||(203)|
In fiscal year 2022, our income tax expense of $32.2 million was primarily due to the tax expense in jurisdictions that were profitable, provision of higher unrecognized tax benefit and an increase in valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets.
In fiscal year 2021, our income tax expense of $0.2 million was primarily due to tax expenses in jurisdictions that were profitable and an increase in unrecognized tax benefits.
Equity in Losses of Unconsolidated Investees
For the fiscal years 2022 and 2021, our unconsolidated investee, Huansheng JV, experienced a loss for which we recorded our reportable share of $9.1 million and $16.5 million, respectively. The decrease of $7.4 million in equity in losses of unconsolidated investee was primarily due to lower losses attributable to Huansheng JV and a lower share of losses by the Company due to dilution of shareholdings that happened in September 2021.
Net (Income) Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests
For the fiscal years 2022 and 2021, we attributed $0.3 million of net income and $1.2 million of net loss, respectively, to noncontrolling interests. The change from a net loss to net income attributable to noncontrolling interests was a result of more profitable operations from our consolidated investee during fiscal year 2022.
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We present certain non-GAAP measures such as non-GAAP gross loss, non-GAAP operating expenses and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) adjusted for stock-based compensation, restructuring charges and fees, remeasurement (gain) loss on prepaid forward and physical delivery forward, loss on extinguishment of debt, impairment, equity in losses of unconsolidated investees and related gains and loss related to settlement of price escalation dispute (“Adjusted EBITDA”) to supplement our consolidated and combined financial results presented in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP gross loss is defined as gross loss excluding stock-based compensation and loss related to settlement of price escalation dispute. Non-GAAP operating expenses is defined as operating expenses excluding stock-based compensation and restructuring charges and fees.
We believe that non-GAAP gross loss, non-GAAP operating expenses and Adjusted EBITDA provide greater transparency into management’s view and assessment of the Company’s ongoing operating performance by removing items management believes are not representative of our continuing operations and may distort our longer-term operating trends. We believe these measures are useful to help enhance the comparability of our results of operations across different reporting periods on a consistent basis and with our competitors, distinct from items that are infrequent or not associated with the Company’s core operations as presented above. We also use these non-GAAP measures internally to assess our business, financial performance and current and historical results, as well as for strategic decision-making and forecasting future results. Given our use of non-GAAP measures, we believe that these measures may be important to investors in understanding our operating results as seen through the eyes of management. These non-GAAP measures are neither prepared in accordance with GAAP nor are they intended to be a replacement for GAAP financial data, should be reviewed together with GAAP measures and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies.
Each of the non-GAAP financial measures excludes one or more of the following items in arriving to the non-GAAP measures:
•Stock-based compensation expense. Stock-based compensation relates primarily to equity incentive awards. Stock-based compensation is a non-cash expense that is dependent on market forces that are difficult to predict and is excluded from non-GAAP gross loss, non-GAAP operating expense and Adjusted EBITDA. Management believes that this adjustment for stock-based compensation expense provides investors with a basis to measure our core performance, including the ability to compare our performance with the performance of other companies, without the period-to-period variability created by stock-based compensation.
•Restructuring charges and fees. We incur restructuring charges and fees related to reorganization plans aimed towards realigning resources consistent with our global strategy and improving its overall operating efficiency and cost structure. Restructuring charges and fees are excluded from non-GAAP operating expenses and Adjusted EBITDA because they are not considered core operating activities. Although we have engaged in restructuring activities and initiatives, past activities have been discrete events based on unique sets of business objectives. As such, management believes that it is appropriate to exclude restructuring charges and fees from our non-GAAP financial measures as they are not reflective of ongoing operating results nor do these charges contribute to a meaningful evaluation of our past operating performance.
•Remeasurement (gain) loss on prepaid forward and physical delivery forward. This relates to the mark-to-market fair value remeasurement of privately negotiated prepaid forward and physical delivery transactions. The transactions were entered into in connection with the issuance on July 17, 2020 of the 6.50% Green Convertible Senior Notes due 2025 for an aggregate principal amount of $200.0 million. The prepaid forward is remeasured to fair value at the end of each reporting period, with changes in fair value booked in earnings. The fair value of the prepaid forward is primarily affected by the Company's share price. The physical delivery forward was remeasured to fair value at the end of the Note Valuation Period on September 29, 2020, and was reclassified to equity after remeasurement, and will not be subsequently remeasured. The fair value of the physical delivery forward was primarily affected by the Company’s share price. The remeasurement (gain) loss on prepaid forward and physical delivery forward is excluded from Adjusted EBITDA because it is not considered core operating activities. As such, management believes that it is appropriate to exclude these mark-to-market adjustments from our Adjusted EBITDA as they are not reflective of ongoing operating results nor do the (gain) loss contribute to a meaningful evaluation of our past operating performance.
•Loss on extinguishment of debt. This relates to the loss that arose from the termination of our $50.0 million working capital facility in September 2021 and the expiration of the availability period for draw down of our $75.0 million term loans in August 2021. Loss on debt extinguishment is excluded from Adjusted EBITDA because it is not considered part of core operating activities. Such activities are discrete events based on unique sets of business objectives. As such, management believes that it is appropriate to exclude the loss on extinguishment of debt from our non-GAAP financial measures as it is not reflective of ongoing operating results nor do these charges contribute to a meaningful evaluation of our past operating performance.
•Impairment. This relates to the impairment of assets recorded by our equity method investee, Huansheng JV. Asset impairment is excluded from our Adjusted EBITDA financial measure as it is non-cash in nature and not reflective of ongoing operating results. As such, management believes that it is appropriate to exclude such charges as they do not contribute to a meaningful evaluation of our past operating performance.
•Equity in losses of unconsolidated investees and related gains. This relates to the loss on our unconsolidated equity investment Huansheng JV and gains on such investment. This is excluded from our Adjusted EBITDA financial measure as it is non-cash in nature and not reflective of our core operational performance. As such, management believes that it is appropriate to exclude such charges as they do not contribute to a meaningful evaluation of our performance.
•Loss related to settlement of price escalation dispute. This relates to loss arising from the settlement of price escalation dispute with a polysilicon supplier related to our long-term, firm commitment polysilicon supply agreement. This is excluded from our Adjusted EBITDA financial measure as it is non-recurring and not reflective of ongoing operating results. As such, management believes that it is appropriate to exclude such charges as the loss does not contribute to a meaningful evaluation of our past operating performance.
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
|Fiscal Year Ended|
|(In thousands)||January 1, 2023||January 2, 2022|
|Stock-based compensation||1,535 ||1,250 |
|Loss related to settlement of price escalation dispute||15,170 ||— |
Non-GAAP Gross loss(1)
|GAAP Operating expenses||152,346 ||143,433 |
|Restructuring charges and fees||(5,632)||(8,084)|
|Non-GAAP Operating expenses||133,669 ||129,368 |
GAAP Net loss attributable to the stockholders(1)
|Interest expense, net||27,812 ||27,848 |
|Provision for income taxes||32,191 ||203 |
|Depreciation||56,470 ||41,827 |
|Amortization||272 ||383 |
|Impairment||— ||5,058 |
|Stock-based compensation||14,580 ||7,231 |
|Loss related to settlement of price escalation dispute||15,170 ||— |
Restructuring charges and fees(2)
|5,632 ||7,156 |
|Remeasurement (gain) loss on physical delivery forward and prepaid forward||(2,411)||34,468 |
|Equity in losses of unconsolidated investees and related gain||9,072 ||8,447 |
|Loss on extinguishment of debt||— ||5,075 |