16 May 2011

OPEL proposing new directors

OPEL Solar International Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which makes high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) panels (and both roof- and ground-based solar tracker systems), announced a realignment of its board of directors.

Denis Colbourne, a director since September 2006, chairman of the board from 2008 to 2010, and a member of the Compensation Committee and the Audit Committee, will be retiring from the board at the upcoming Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) at the Toronto Hilton Hotel on 21 June. The firm says that his years of board and operational experience in the industry — including with Spectalis, SiGe Semiconductor, International Datacasting, Wi-LAN and Nortel Semiconductors — have been of vital importance to its growth. He will continue his involvement with OPEL in an advisory role, to be called upon for his expertise from time to time, under a consultancy agreement.

OPEL’s president & CEO Leon M. Pierhal, chairman Lawrence R. Kunkel, and director Dr Samuel Peralta will continue in their current capacities. The board is proposing two nominees – Christopher Grasset and Tristram Collins – for election as directors at the AGM. Proxy material will be mailed to shareholders on 20 May.

Grasset J.D. has over 35 years of experience in the high-tech sector. He is currently VP, business affairs for Covalon Technologies and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Building on his background in communications and IT, he co-founded the technology business law firm Grasset/Fleisher LLP (subsequently merged with a major law firm) and the consultancy firm KBE International, focused on knowledge-based enterprises. Grasset has been an advisor to international organizations including the Sprinkles Global Health Initiative at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and UNICEF. His ‘Crossing the Pond’ initiative was an international technology business development program of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Grasset has published many articles on technology business, policy, law, tax and related issues, and he has chaired many conferences on subjects including international transactions and financing, and intellectual property and technology transfer.

Collins has over 25 years of business experience. He holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration and an AB from Dartmouth College. Currently president of Grassmere Acquisition Corp and president & CEO of Great Point Holdings LLC, his recent focus has been on the financing and management of high-growth firms, exemplified by AcuStream LLC and Sustainable Building Innovations. Previously, he was a director and senior managing executive at Nassau Broadcasting Partners L.P. He was also previously an investment banking executive with over $85bn of transaction experience. At Citigroup Global Markets, he was a managing director and sector head specializing in broadcasting and media, where he managed global relationships, transactions and mergers and acquisition (M&A) advisory assignments, including $6bn of Viacom financings. He also held senior executive positions at Merrill Lynch & Co, where he helped execute Infinity Broadcasting’s $3.2bn initial public offering (IPO).

“Their integrity and experience will be invaluable to the strategic growth of OPEL,” reckons OPEL’s chairman Lawrence R. Kunkel. “Both candidates bring strong knowledge-based and high-value transactional expertise to the board and will provide solid support to the management team while OPEL continues its vision for expanding the vertical and geographic reach of its photovoltaic business, and for realizing optimum value from its proprietary Planar Optoelectronic Technology (POET) semiconductor device manufacturing platform and associated intellectual property portfolio [of subsidiary ODIS Inc of Shelton, CT, USA],” he adds.

OPEL also announced the grant of additional incentive stock options under its stock option plan to its directors to purchase up to an aggregate of 600,000 common shares (representing 0.65% of its outstanding voting shares). The stock options are exercisable at a price of CA$1.21 per share (the closing price on 10 May 2011), expiring 11 May 2021.

There are currently 8,179,000 options outstanding and 92,183,256 voting shares outstanding. The options will vest and be exercisable on the basis of 25% on the date of grant and 25% every six months thereafter. The options were granted subject to provisions of the stock option plan, which was approved by shareholders in June 2009, and subject to the TSX Venture Exchange policies and the applicable securities laws.

Tags: OPEL Solar

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