Sunways AG receives purchase offer for its inverter business

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A poster child for much that has gone wrong in Germany’s solar industry over the past 18 months, Sunways AG today issued a bittersweet press announcement.

Revealing that the debt-stricken company has received an offer to purchase its inverter business, the Konstanz-based solar firm added that the income from the sale will not be sufficient to "be able to promise to the shareholders of Sunways AG an even partial repayment of their investment after conclusion of the insolvency proceedings."

A statement from the company – which is a subsidiary of troubled Chinese firm LDK Solar – stated that the preliminary insolvency administrator appointed by the court, Thorsten Schleich, had been presented with a final purchase offer for Sunways AG’s inverter business, which included the purchase of trademark, patents, equipment, inventories, related employees and sales and administrative areas. The identity of the bidder has not been revealed.

However, it is understood that the offer made will not cover the shortfall currently being pursued by the preliminary creditors’ committee. In March the company re-entered insolvency after a brief, seven-month respite from creditors’ clutches. It was reported at the time that the Sunways board was "already in talks with potential investors" – thought to be from the Middle East – about a potential takeover. No concrete offers have yet been forthcoming, save for today’s announcement.

The company managed to stave-off insolvency proceedings in August last year by persuading lenders to take a €1 million haircut on €7.6 million of outstanding loans. The company also wiped an estimated €10 million liability off its balance sheet with a one-off, undisclosed payment to settle its wafer purchase agreements.

Since then, Sunways AG has had its shares suspended from the electronic trading system Xetra, while parent company LDK Solar has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.