Despite increasing orders to CHF385 million (358 million) in 2016, and net sales to CHF336.1 million (313 million) for the first nine months of 2016, Meyer Burger has not yet achieved profitability, registering a CHF40.3 million (37.4 million) loss in the same period.
On the back of this result, Meyer Burger management unveiled a number of measures to strengthen its balance sheet. The measures include removing a CHF100 million (93 million) 2014 bond put option potentially effective in 2018, raising CHF160 million (149 million) through a planned capital increase, and expanding a borrowing provision against its Thun, Switzerland, headquarters to CHF60 million (56 million).
However, it’s far from all bad news from the PV industry’s leading diversified production equipment supplier. In the first nine months of 2016, the company has grown orders 15% and net sales by 97%.
One new order included in the recapitalisation announcement is an order for HJT PV production equipment from a Turkish producer. The order is worth 67 million for a capacity of 200 MW, which is due to be delivery in Q3 2017. Meyer Burger indicates that the plan is for the capacity is to be expand to 1 GW over the next five years.
Meyer Burger also continues to reduce costs, and now forecasts an EBITA breakeven of CHF300 million (279 million), which it expects to achieve in 2018. It has indicated that several of its large convertible bondholders, including Veraison Capital, are supportive of the bond adjustment and recapitalisation program.
In a sweetener for existing shareholders, they will be offered new shares, of the CHF160 million new offering, at a discounted rate. The measures will have to be approved by an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting.
The Meyer Burger Board has indicated that the recapitalisation program is inter-conditional, in that the suite of measures is either to be taken as a whole or rejected outright.
Meyer Burger has forecast net sales of CHF420-450 million (390-418 million) for an EBITDA CHF10 – 20 million (9-18 million).