US investor Kawa to save 350 jobs at Conergy

Kawa Capital Management will sign the respective purchase agreement for the acqusition of Conergy sales and service units in Germany, Italy, the UK and Australia on October 1.

The investor completed the acqusition of Conergy sales entities in the U.S., Canada, Singapore and Thailand in August. With these transactions, Kawa is now providing the security for a total of 350 jobs, 210 thereof in the international units and 140 in Germany. Additionally in Germany, Conergy staff in Zweibrücken in Rhineland-Palatinate were also affected by job cuts; 30 employees remain at the moment. The company will maintain the warehouses in Zweibrücken for a six-month transition period.

The transaction also does not cover Conergy subsidiaries in Spain, France, Greece, India and the Czech Republic, which employ a total of around 110 people. A correlative agreement could not be reached, according to Conergy. An additional 500 employees at subsidiaries Mounting Systems and Conergy SolarModule are still in limbo as well. Conergy and preliminary insolvency administrator Sven-Holger Undritz are currently negotiating with potential investors and the state of affairs will be made clearer within next week according to the company.

"We are very content that we found a great solution for the majority of the employees in Conergy’s global sales and service units," stated Undritz from the Hamburg law firm White & Case. "At the same time, however, we very much regret that we could not secure all jobs of the Conergy group and that we have to lay off a significant number of highly skilled employees. This is very pitiful but unfortunately inevitable. The entire transaction has been very complex in many respects but with Kawa we have an investor at our side who believed in the success of our deal at any time."

Kawa expands solar assets

For the acqusition to be implemented, Conergy’s insolvency proceedings have to be opened and the creditors committee’s approval has to be sought. Both the creditor committee and the banks have already indicated their approval of the sale of the subsidiaries. The insolvency administrator plans to apply to the district court of Hamburg for opening the insolvency proceedings on 1 October 2013. The approval by the creditor committee is thereby also expected to take place on the same date.

The acquisition sees Kawa gaining the necessary know-how for engineering, planning, construction and the management of solar power plants on a global scale according to Kawa Partner Andrew de Pass. De Pass added, "We are breaking new ground and expanding our asset management business to include the fast growing solar asset class. Photovoltaic is a very interesting asset class, however, it requires profound and complex know how. With our Conergy experts we can guarantee our customers secure investments – in the right projects, in the right quality of both, systems and services, at the right conditions and attractive return-on-investment. The strategic acquisitions of Conergy are therefore a milestone for our asset management business."

Successful Asian and North American units

Kawa took over Conergy’s successful Asian and North American sales units in August this year. Conergy CEO Philip Comberg believes that this success story can continue with the European and Austalian agreements. "Our Asian and North American units are already operating very successfully in the new setup and we are convinced that we will succeed doing so with our European and Australian entities as well."

Comberg said that with Kawa in the picture, the company can now offer the necessary financing solutions and funding for the projects, adding, "With Kawa as our new owner the last missing piece of the jigsaw of our strategy is now falling into place. This opens up great chances and interesting future potential for Conergy."