Gehrlicher sees strong prospects following management buyout

Insolvent German company Gehrlicher Solar announced last month that its operations and maintenance unit had been saved by a management buyout. The company filed for insolvency in July last year. The following month, M+W Americas, the U.S. division of Germany-based engineering giant M+W Group, acquired Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation (GSAC).

The company said Wednesday that the foundation of Gehrlicher Solar Services GmbH in February and the management buy-out at the end of March created "an essential basis for the realignment of the Gehrlicher Group."

As part of the buyout, the new company took over some 60 contracts representing approximately 200 MWp capacity and retained key customers such as KGAL, a leading German institutional asset manager, and CEE, an equity investment company focusing on renewable energy and clean tech.

Gehrlicher Solar Services says it is now offering customers throughout Europe an all-inclusive package of operations and maintenance services.

Richard von Hehn and Steffen Licht, who held management positions at the now defunct Gerhlicher Solar AG, are now heading Gehrlicher Solar Services. Gehrlicher’s original founder, Klaus Gehrlicher, is a majority shareholder in the new company.

Gehrlicher Solar Services took over all of the previous company’s invested capital and intangible assets, including patents, trademarks and brands, but with the exception of the property in Neustadt, Germany.

The company is working closely with Gehrlicher Solar Management GmbH, which oversees the commercial management of solar parks and investment funds as well as the extensive expertise in the independent unit for the project business, to again offer the entire business value chain.

"The ultimate goal is to return to the international photovoltaic business and to continue to get involved with our sound experience and expertise in this segment in the market,” said Klaus Gehrlicher.

"It helps us that despite all the bad news in recent years, the global photovoltaic market has continued to grow."

Gerhlicher says he is optimistic that after a tough consolidation phase the entire industry is facing a new solar boom again, especially in sunny countries.

“In the medium term the global prospects for the future of the photovoltaic industry are excellent – driven by the declining production costs that made solar power internationally more competitive in recent years in comparison to conventional forms of energy,” the company added.

Gehrlicher said the company’s “expansion strategy in recent years was just right, as shown by the sales revenue of our former U.S. subsidiary with more than US$150 million in 2013. We continue on the basis of this know-how and want to become a global player within the international business environment again."