Singulus bondholders approve restructuring

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Singulus looks set to live to fight another day. In late 2015, Singulus management proposed a "restructuring of the corporate bond" that would allow it to continue supplying production equipment to the solar and laser disk manufacturing industries.

With the affirmative outcome from yesterday’s bondholder meeting, Singulus reports that "the foundation is laid for a financial restructuring of the company."

The debt-equity swap and a subsequent issuing of a new tranche of shares in the company will now be taken to shareholders, at an extraordinary general meeting today. A majority of 75% of shareholders will be required to approve the restructuring measures.

Singulus notes that "a few" noteholders objected to the proposal. "The company now has to wait whether the noteholders will file a voidance action. Nevertheless, the company is confident that such voidance actions will be overridden in fast-track proceedings," the Singulus statement reads.

After an especially lean number of years, with sales of €66.8 million (US$75.5 million) in 2014 and €84 million (US$95 million) in 2015, Singulus has forecast sales of €115 and €130 million (US$130 – 147 million) in 2016. With its laser disk equipment sales forecast to remain weak, Singulus expects to its solar business to account for more than 70% of its revenues in 2016.

In an interview with pv magazine, published in full in the February print edition, Singulus CFO Markus Ehret set out the principle behind the proposed debt-equity swap.

"Over the course of several steps, we will have achieved a strong balance sheet and will have reduced our debt significantly," explained Ehret. "From an economic perspective, some 80% of our bond debt is going into equity, and only about 20% of our bond debt will remain as bond debt, i.e. €12 million, which is not a big piece of debt…. The term of the newly issued bond will be another five years. Thus, we intend to restructure our balance sheet by way of the debt equity swap. We plan to be a strong and healthy company again after that."

Last week Singulus announced that it was currently negotiating a contract for 300 MW of CIGS production tooling. The signing of the deal, which would see Singulus deliver Cisaris selenization equipment, is likely pursuant on Singulus resolving its debt issues.