Spain's Siliken files for insolvency

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The insolvency proceedings also involve three Siliken subsidiaries: Siliken Energy and Siliken Manufacturing both based in Valencia, and Siliken Chemicals located in Albacete.??

Insolvency proceedings will be handled by Valencia-based Bdo Auditores, while creditors will be represented by Taiwan-based Gintech Energy Corporation, according to a statement published in Spain’s official state bulletin (BOE) on January 28.??

Siliken failed to reach an agreement with creditors for the refinancing of its €130 million debt in mid-January, according to sources quoted by Madrid daily, Expansión. This failure came after Siliken successfully rescheduled €111.4 million with a banking pool of 12 banks, led by Bankia, Banesto and Catalunya Bank, back in June 2012.??

Siliken – majority controlled by Grupo Empresarial Zriser – attempted to prevent a slide into full insolvency by initiating a pre-insolvency procedure in September 2012. The company nevertheless failed to convince creditors that its business model was viable in the current market environment.??

Separately from their European parent company, Siliken Manufacturing USA and its wholly owned subsidiary, Siliken USA, filed voluntary bankruptcy petitions at the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of California, seeking relief under the provisions of Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, on January 7. A meeting of creditors is scheduled in San Diego on February 5.??

The ill-fated solar developer from Valencia boasted annual sales of €331 million in 2010 and €255 million in 2011. The company, which employed around 1,100 workers in its heyday, was set up in 2002 by a handful of partners – Carlos Navarro, Gonzalo Navarro, Alfredo Puche and Francisco Clavel – at a time when Spain’s solar energy and real estate markets were in strong expansion.??

Zriser, the investing group controlled by Spanish entrepreneur Pablo Serratosa, purchased a stake in Siliken in 2008 and today Zriser represents the largest shareholder with around 59% of shares. The remaining 32% of shares are in the hands of founding partners and 9% is owned by minority shareholders.??

Previosuly, Siliken boasted production plants in Rafelbunyol (Spain), Albacete (Spain), Chisoda-Timis (Romania), Ontario (Canada) and Tijuana (Mexico). Last year, however, the company decided to close its Albacete, Tijuana and Ontario plants, while implementing a sharp downsizing program at the Rafelbunyol and Chisoda-Timis plants.