Insolvency manager: Q.Cells could survive

According to provisional insolvency manager, Henning Schorisch, Q.Cells SE of Bitterfeld-Wolfen, which has been insolvent for four weeks now, is to be quickly reorganized – but without any time pressure. "In the meantime we have achieved orderly circumstances again after the initial turbulent days that followed the company’s filing for insolvency," he indicated during a press conference in Germany’s Bitterfeld.

The company’s sales have contributed "better results each day, so that we could increase production," assured Schorisch. Although the original business plan is no longer viable, the photovoltaics enterprise is in a very orderly state from an operational perspective. "We have full production again, and even a four-shift system in the modules segment." None of the company’s 1,300 staff are now performing short-time work, and there will also not be any layoffs in the foreseeable future.

"We are already planning for the third quarter, we are not living from hand to mouth," Schorisch continued. Further investments are also being made in research and technology development. The provisional insolvency manager indicated that the company’s liquid resources currently amounted to €150 million. And in light of these figures, he also hopes to be able to dispel the reservations of suppliers and financiers that inevitably arise in such cases.

Great interest

However, Schorisch remained vague with regard to the future of the world’s once largest solar cell manufacturer. Several options can now be examined as a result of increased demand. By the middle of May, he aims to submit the first results with regard to prospective buyers to the committee of creditors. There is purportedly a great amount of interest in the company, and the technical processes for a sale have been initiated. However, an insolvency plan procedure or a combination – that is, subsequent commitment by an investor – is also quite conceivable.

Schorisch confirmed that the previous Q.Cells management continues to steer the company and that the cooperation is completely smooth. At the same time, he assured that he aims to implement nearly all of the points specified by the previous restructuring plan from Nedim Cen, who as a proven turnaround manager was recruited from the consultancy Alvarez & Marsal for the Q.Cells management board three years ago.

Schorisch refrained from commenting on Cen’s own decision to file for insolvency four weeks ago. However, he did point out that in an insolvency plan procedure, the individual creditors behind the corporate bond who opposed restructuring by bringing legal action will hardly be able to prevent transformation of these loans into corporate capital.

Translated by Alan Faulcon; edited by Becky Stuart.