Mexico's Solartec, a manufacturer of solar panels, said it was buying Belgium's Photovoltech, which ceased operations last year, for nearly $63 million.

The acquisition is being made by the Davinci Capital investment group, one of the founding partners in Solartec.

Photovoltech shut down due to the European economic crisis, the loss of government subsidies and competition from cheaper Asian manufacturers, Solartec said.

The deal will make the Mexican firm "the leading company in the production and sale of photovoltaic panels," turning it into "the key player in Latin America due to its technology, research and high level of competitiveness," Solartec CEO Gustavo Tome said.

The acquisition of Photovoltech "will open the possibility of entering markets where there was previously no presence, especially China, so (solar) panels can be manufactured there" for export to the United States, Solartec said.

The new Solarcell plant will open in April at the Apolo industrial park in Irapuato, a city in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, the company said.

The equipment acquired in the Photovoltech deal will be shipped from Belgium to the new plant, which will cover 2,500 sq. meters (26,874 sq. feet).

Solartec posted revenues of more than 463 million pesos (about $36 million) in 2012, producing enough solar panels to "approximately cover the surface of 80 soccer stadiums," the company said.

The Photovoltech acquisition is expected to boost 2013 revenues by 47 percent, Solartec said. EFE