Wagner files for insolvency

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German solar company Wagner & Co. Solartechnik GmbH has filed for insolvency this week amidst the continuing crisis gripping the country’s beleaguered PV sector.

The solar installation supplier has suffered continuing losses in the face of Germany’s shrinking market.

"Unfortunately, the market for solar power and heating systems has not as developed positively in recent months as we had assumed in our restructuring plan,” the company’s management said in a statement. “Given sustained losses, the continued financing of our operations could no longer be ensured based on existing structures. As a result, on Tuesday we filed a petition to open insolvency proceedings in order to continue restructuring with the possibilities offered by the German insolvency law."

Wagner’s court-appointed insolvency administrator, Jan Markus Plathner, added that conditions for sustaining the continuation of operations were extremely difficult. "But taking the product range and Wagner Solar’s proven performance in the past into account, there are good arguments with which we can convince financiers and potential investors. We will in any case do everything we can to maintain as many jobs as possible. To do that, we especially need the support of financing partners and customers."

The company notified its employees of the move on Wednesday. As part of the insolvency proceedings, the company has received special funding to insure the approximately 150 employees continue to receive their wages through June. By then, Plathner hopes to know whether the company can be saved.

Established in Marburg in 1979 and now based in nearby Coelbe, Wagner has operated as a system provider of solar installations, offering holistically sustainable solutions in the areas of solar power, solar heating and pellet heating systems for homes and buildings. The company is also active in France, Britain, Italy, Spain and North America through subsidiaries and partnerships. Wagner is likewise a leading solar thermal collector manufacturer in Europe.

"We a good chance for a new beginning in the insolvency proceedings with an experienced administrator like Dr. Plathner,” said Wagner CEO Andreas Knoch. "An insolvency administrator has better options in the current situation to restore our company financially and structurally than the management alone. We are confident that we can overcome the current crisis with him and with the support of our customers."