Conergy denies rumors of production line closures in Frankfurt Oder24. August 2011 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Top News | By: Sandra Enkhart / Becky Stuart
Following rumors that Germany-based Conergy is looking to reduce its Frankfurt, Oder manufacturing operations and close down certain production lines, a works council called a meeting to inform the employees about the situation.
Around 200 Conergy employees gathered on Monday in Frankfurt Oder at the request of a works council. There is a lot of uncertainty that during the course of a change in ownership following the company’s debt relief efforts, jobs could be lost and production lines shut down.
"We are suffering from an information jam," work council head, Harald Frick, told pv magazine.
The works council wants to set an example at the annual general meeting scheduled to be held on Friday in Hamburg to inform the shareholders about Frankfurt Oder.
There is already a gradual dismantling of jobs underway at the Frankfurt manufacturing facility. There are fears that in the future, only modules will be produced, while sales and distribution will be moved to Hamburg, continued Frick. A final decision will, however, most likely be reached in November.
From Frick’s point of view, module prices have meanwhile reached the ceiling.
Denying the rumors, a Conergy spokesperson said that production would remain in Frankfurt Oder. As of yet, no decision has been made over how production-cost efficiencies could be gained.
With a view of the price pressure, which is coming from weak market conditions and competition from Chinese manufacturers, the spokesperson stressed however that solutions will have to be found in order for Conergy to stay competitive.
After Conergy’s decision to undertake debt relief, the company now has a new shareholder structure. The previously biggest shareholder, Comerzbank, now has a share of 4.92 percent, according to "Der Aktionär".
The Deutsche Bank meanwhile holds around 13 percent and has risen to become Conergy’s biggest shareholder, followed by Hedge Fonds Sothis Capital and York Global Finance, which hold a 12.3 percent and 11.7 percent stake in the company respectively.
At the general meeting scheduled to be held on Friday, the supervisory board will be withdrawn and a new control committee selected. Two candidates for the Chairman of the supervisory board are in the running: former investment banker of the Deutsche Bank, Philip Comberg; and Andreas Pleßke of Prym Holding.
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