While the solar equipment supply segment has rallied somewhat in 2015, it continues to present many challenges. With orders scheduled for 2015 get pushed back to 2016, Manz has announced a restructuring program, very likely targeting its solar segment.
The company informed pv magazine in a statement that the options being considered for the solar segment is to find a strategic investor, to find a buyer for the solar technology portfolio and, in the worst case, to close down its solar operations.
Manz estimates its 2015 revenues will total between 200 210 million (US$221 232 million), down from 305.9 million (US$338 million) in 2014. The company anticipates this will result in losses in the tens of millions.
As a result, Manz will begin a restructuring program, the aim of which is to achieve break-even in 2016. The program will result in the German company retaining a focus on its growing consumer electronics and energy storage business units.
In terms of its PV business, the Manz statement reads: In contrast, the strategic options for the business segment solar will be evaluated. It is the objective that this business unit will not lead to a further cost burden as of the 2016 financial year.
Since 2011 Manz has sought to sell one of its turnkey CIGSfabs. During this period the company has achieved a number of world record efficiency results. Despite this, and while the efforts have led to promising leads from emerging PV markets such as South Africa and the MENA region, it has to date been unable to achieve a sale.
The original version of this article was updated on Tuesday November 27, to include more information from Manz about the direct the restructuring of the solar segment could take (paragraph three).