Class action lawsuit filed against Solar Millennium

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In a statement released last week by KWAG Kanzlei für Wirtschafts- und Anlagerecht, a Bremen-based economic and investment law firm, it was said that 18 plaintiffs, who invested a total of €315,000 worth of bearer bonds in the beleaguered solar company, are represented in the lawsuit.

The action by the investors, and supported by KWAG, is said to be against the founding shareholders of the company, which are also responsible for the share issue prospectus. In the class action, over 10 errors have reportedly been listed in the prospectus.

"Given these, we consider the chances of success for our clients as very good," stated Jan-Henning Ahrens, a lawyer specializing in banking and capital market law, and a partner at KWAG. He added that Solar Millennium’s beliefs of its chances of success were largely shaped on the principle of hope, rather than verifiable facts. "The prospectus doesn’t even contain an understandable business plan," he said.

He added, "Many investors have been blinded by the apparent success story of the company." Furthermore, even with the bond issue, continued the KWAG statement, there were serious doubts about the plausibility of claims made by Solar Millennium over its positive business development.

In principle, bond investors must consider two important aspects with regards to possible compensation, continued KWAG.

They encompass so-called "true belief" in the insolvency of the corporation. "Therefore, if not already done so, they should immediately register their claims with the insolvency creditors." Secondly, because the bonds were subscribed to between 2006 and 2011, there are different limitation periods. "In principle, the so-called knowledge independence limitation amounts to three years from acquisition of the bonds."

Overall, KWAG says Solar Millennium issued bearer bonds worth a nominal value of €290 million, of which €270 million are still open and, consequently, must be repaid. But, the mediation of these interest papers was reportedly taken over by Solar Invest AG which, in its present state, is not insolvent.