Europe’s Biggest Solar Company Goes Up In Smoke

  • Date: 11/05/17
  • Reuters

Germany’s SolarWorld, once Europe’s biggest solar power equipment group, said on Wednesday it would file for insolvency.

Germany’s SolarWorld, once Europe’s biggest solar power equipment group, said on Wednesday it would file for insolvency, overwhelmed by Chinese rivals who had long been a thorn in the side of founder and CEO Frank Asbeck, once known as “the Sun King”.

source: Bloomberg Markets, 11 May 2017

SolarWorld was one of the few German solar power companies to survive a major crisis at the turn of the decade, caused by a glut in production of panels that led prices to fall and peers to collapse, including Q-Cells, Solon and Conergy.

SolarWorld was forced to restructure and avoided insolvency thanks to a debt-for-equity swap and the support of Qatar, which took a 29 percent stake in the group four years ago through Qatar Solar S.P.C.

A renewed wave of cheap Chinese exports, caused by reduced ambitions in China to expand solar power generation, was too much to bear for the group, which made its last net profit in 2014.

“Due to the ongoing price erosion and the development of the business, the company no longer has a positive going concern prognosis, is therefore over-indebted and thus obliged to file for insolvency proceedings,” SolarWorld said in a statement on Wednesday.

Frankfurt-listed shares in the group last traded down 77 percent at 0.81 euros.

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