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REC Silicon’s CEO to retire

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | December 2, 2021 1:05 AM

MOSES LAKE — REC Silicon President and CEO Tore Torvund announced his retirement Tuesday, according to a press release from the silicon materials producing company.

Torvund, who is turning 70, was “instrumental in developing REC Silicon,” the press release said, and will be temporarily replaced by current chief financial officer James May while the company seeks a new CEO.

In addition, Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke announced he was stepping down from his position as chair of REC’s board of directors. Røkke, who made his fortune in shipping, heads Norwegian energy producer Aker ASA, and the company’s Aker Horizons subsidiary owns nearly 92 million shares, or a 25% stake in the company.

According to the press release, Aker Horizons proposed Kristian Monsen Røkke, current chairman of Norwegian oil services and investment company Akastor ASA, succeed Kjell Inge Røkke as chair of REC’s board of directors.

REC also announced the board of directors would meet on Dec. 22 to select a new board chairman.

In mid-November, REC announced South Korean petrochemical and solar panel manufacturer Hanwha Solutions agreed to purchase 48.2 million shares of newly issued REC stock at approximately 20 Norwegian kroner ($2.21) per share valued at a total of 964 million Norwegian kroner ($105.6 million), with the goal of strengthening “REC Silicon’s financial position and ensure that the company has necessary resources to reopen” its Moses Lake production facility, according to a company press release Nov. 18.

Hanwha Solutions also plans to buy another 21.89 million existing REC shares. Hanwha and Aker each will own about 17% of the shares in REC, after share issues and purchases are complete — likely in the first quarter of 2022, the Nov. 18 release stated.

On Thursday, REC shares on Norway’s Oslobørs stock exchange closed at 21.78 Norwegian kroner ($2.41) per share. The value of REC’s shares has risen nearly 44% since mid-November.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.

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