While the insolvency proceedings for SolarWorld are now underway, its insolvency administrator is now negotiating with a group of investors, probably led by its major shareholder Qatar Foundation, about a short-term solution and the rescue of at least 450 jobs in Germany. But there are several interested parties. “We have sent an offer to the insolvency administrator last week”, confirmed Thomas Bornstein, managing director of Dutch company Prisma Systems, in respsonse to an inquiry from pv magazine. “We are interested in taking over SolarWorld completely and have already made this clear two months ago.” Currently, Prisma Systems is still waiting for confirmation from the insolvency administrator Horst Piepenburg to be able to carry out the due diligence.
Meanwhile, Piepenburg has been negotiating with another investor group. The spokesman of the insolvency administrator, Thomas Schulz, confirmed to pv magazine that there are other interested parties. They also said that they needed several weeks for the economic and technical due diligence. On the other hand, the investor interested in taking over the production facilities in Arnstadt and Freiberg as well as 450 Solarworld employees, is ready to “decide on this quickly”, but it also wants to “ensure the necessary security for the transaction,” Schulz said.
The insolvency proceedings for Solarworld and its German subsidiaries were officially opened by the District Court of Bonn on Tuesday. The group of investors with which Piepenburg negotiates has agreed to pay at least until mid-August all employees who are not laid-off. According to Schulz, there are still around 1650 at the factories in Freiberg and Arnstadt. Furthermore, 65 employees are still working at the company headquarters in Bonn.
Prisma Systems says its interest in Solarworld is due to its own large solar project pipeline, which according to company data is about 3.4 GW worldwide. “We would use the modules for the majority of our projects. But we also intend to sell part to the market as well, “explains Bornstein. Currently, the company has several projects in Brazil. In Europe, Prisma Systems is more likely to be an EPC. Whether or not a takeover of Solarworld is possible for the company depends on the feedback of the insolvency administrator, according to Bornstein.
In mid-May, Solarworld AG and its German subsidiaries had to file for provisional insolvency. At the end of the month the process of finding an investor began, which is being managed by financial services provider Macquarie.