Conergy negotiates with Chinese investors

Following speculation in the Financial Times Deutschland on May 10 that a Chinese company would acquire 30 percent of Conergy, CEO Phillip Comberg told Tuesday’s edition of German newspaper, Handelsblatt, "We are negotiating intensively with various companies about comprehensive cooperation." The entry of a Chinese investor should "go beyond a pure supply relationship". "We could, for example, develop solar projects together," continued Comberg, who used to sit on the board of Chinese solar company, Solarfun.

The advantage of such a relationship would be that Chinese companies have better access to credit and, thus, could help with financing. Not to mention that undertaking photovoltaic projects in China is near impossible for foreign companies, unless they have a very strong balance sheet and relationship with central and regional government bodies.

In exchange, Conergy could offer the Chinese company access to the European markets, which Asian manufacturers often lack. "Our core competency is access to customers," said Comberg.

Sooner or later, it is possible that Conergy will be completely taken over by a Chinese competitor. This is, however, thought to be more feasible in the midterm. Exploratory talks are already underway. Comberg would not directly comment, but enigmatically stated, "Strategically we must prepare ourselves for an independent future."

Which begs the question, are Asian investors one of the only options left open to Germany’s beleaguered solar companies, which have recently been dropping like flies?

Germany’s solar companies – insolvency timeline

Company

Timeline

Signet Solar

Announces insolvency 10.06.2010; insolvency proceedings open 02.09.2010; company stops operations 30.11.2010

Meier Solar Solutions

Filed for insolvency 05.09.2010; found Japanese investor 07.09.2010

Blue Chip Energy GmbH

Files for insolvency 22.07.2011

Arise Technologies Deutschland GmbH

Entered structured insolvency 13.10.2011

Solon SE

Announced insolvency 13.12.11; saved by UAE-based Microsol 01.03.2012; Solon Energy GmbH formed 06.03.2012

Solar Millennium AG

Files for insolvency 21.12.2011; investigation into fraud announced 28.12.2011; employees let go as insolvency proceedings begin 28.02.2012; chairman of the management board resigns 06.03.2012; U.S. subsidiaries and investment file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Claassen sues for defamation 03.04.2012; class action lawsuit filed 08.05.2012; liquidator confident of investor payout 16.05.2012

SunConcept Group

Files for insolvency 08.02.2012

Scheuten Solar

Provisional administrator appointed for Scheuten Solar Production Facilities GmbH, Scheuten Solar Cells GmbH and Scheuten Solar Technology GmbH 29.02.2012; provisional administrator appointed for Scheuten Solar Holding Germany GmbH 30.04.2012

Ralos New Energies AG

Files for insolvency 02.03.2012

Solarhybrid AG

Files for bankruptcy 21.03.2012

Odersun AG

Filed for insolvency 29.03.2012; preliminary insolvency proceedings opened after failure to find investor 18.04.2012

Q.Cells SE

Files for insolvency 02.04.2012; investor sought, insolvency proceedings expected by July 18.04.2012; cell and module production resumes 23.04.2012; insolvency manager positive 03.05.2012

Soltecture GmbH

Files for insolvency 09.05.2012

Sovello AG

Rumors emerge over insolvency 12.05.2012; application to open self-administration insolvency proceedings filed 14.05.2012; redevelopment plan unveiled 15.05.2012

Inventux Technologies AG

Files for insolvency 18.05.2012