Qatari investor expected to save SolarWorld


A Qatari investor is ready to help pull the highly indebted SolarWorld out of its financial crisis, reports Reuters. "We will publish the size of the potential stake at the extraordinary general meeting [EGM]," SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck told the news agency.

Asbeck declined to say who the investor is. However, quoting a source close to the process, Reuters said that Qatar Solar Technologies – a joint venture between SolarWorld (29% stake) and the Qatar Foundation (70% stake) – was ready to take a "minority stake" in the German company. The Qatar Development Bank owns the remaining 1% stake.

This week, SolarWorld published its preliminary 2012 financial figures. Overall, it expects to record a loss of almost €0.5 billion, while revenues have been calculated at around €606 million. The final results are scheduled to be published at the end of this month.

Shortly afterwards, SolarWorld will announce the agreement of its debt restructuring with its most important creditors. A comprehensive debt to equity swap is planned, where, most notably, the existing shareholders will lose almost their entire share and the creditors will hold a majority stake in the business.

"The requirement of the shareholder protection will take management into account," Asbeck further told Reuters. After the restructuring, his SolarWorld share will fall from 28 to 1.4%.

With reference to the source close to the process, Reuters added that Asbeck was willing to again invest fresh capital into the company. He expects that all capital measures will be signed and sealed by the autumn. Then, total debt would decrease from the current €1.2 billion to €400 million.