SolarWorld enters insolvency

The District Court of Bonn, Germany, has opened insolvency proceedings for German solar module manufacturer SolarWorld AG and its subsidiaries Solarworld Industries Sachsen GmbH, Solarworld Industries Thüringen GmbH, Solarworld Innovations GmbH and Solarworld Industries Deutschland GmbH on Tuesday.

Horst Piepenburg has been appointed as insolvency administrator after having conducted the preliminary proceedings. Piepenburg said last week he was in talks with a potential investor for the takeover of SolarWorld’s German factories in Freiberg and Arnstadt. According to Reuters, the potential investor is the company’s largest shareholder, which is Qatar Foundation.

SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck has registered a new company, Solarworld Industries GmbH, in the country’s commercial register last week. The purpose of the company is “to manufacture and distribute solar modules and related products” according to the data from the commercial register. An inquiry with Piepenburg, whether Asbeck together with the major shareholder from Qatar wanted to continue a part of Solarworld, still remains unanswered.

With the opening of the new proceedings, the insolvency administrator pointed out that the talks with the investor have “no material impact” on assets, financial and earnings position of Solarworld. Furthermore, CFO Philipp Koecke has resigned from his position “with immediate effect”, as a result of the new process.

SolarWorld filed for provisional insolvency in mid-May. At the end of July, insolvency payments, which are granted by the German government for a 3-month period after the opening of the provisional insolvency proceedings to cover salaries, expired. The rescue plan submitted by the investor would include only 450 workers employed at the two factories, while another 1,200 would be transferred to an Employment and Qualification Company (BQG), which would be in charge of their relocation.

Solarworld’s U.S. operations are not directly affected by the ongoing insolvency of Solarworld AG and the subsidiaries named above.