WUXI, China, Aug. 14 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), one of the world's leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells, announced today that it has closed the first-step of its acquisition of MSK Corporation, previously announced on August 2, 2006 and is proceeding with the integration of the two companies.By completing the first step of the two-step cash and stock transaction acquisition, Suntech has acquired a two-thirds equity interest in MSK for $107 million in cash."We believe that this acquisition brings significant benefits to Suntech, including an extensive PV module sales and distribution network in the key Japanese market and the advantage of MSK's leading product development and value-added PV solutions," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO.Dr. Shi continued, "We have a strong integration plan in place and expect both companies will benefit from synergies generated by combining many overlapping areas of our operations, from manufacturing, sales, and purchasing to R&D and back office functions including financial management and IT."Upon closing of the second step of the acquisition, which is expected to occur by the end of 2007, Suntech will acquire all or a substantial portion of the remaining interest in MSK for a consideration based on MSK's ability to achieve certain financial targets. If Suntech acquires 100% of the remaining interest in MSK, the range of consideration for the second step is $53 million to $193 million in the form of Suntech shares. The first step of the transaction was financed through a one year bridge loan.