Equipment auction sounds final note for Hanergy-owned Alta Devices


From pv magazine USA

The auction at All Surplus puts the physical and intellectual property remains of thin-film solar innovator Alta Devices on the block and closes out this sad solar story of capital destruction.

Alta Devices was not shy about capital equipment purchases, so if you’re in the need of some lightly used, highly sophisticated thin-film production equipment, you’ve come to the right place.

Late last year, pv magazine broke the story that Hanergy-owned Alta Devices, the world-record efficiency holder for single-junction solar cells, furloughed almost all of its staff in California without pay or notice.

Sad saga

In 2013, Hanergy acquired gallium-arsenide solar developer Alta Devices for an undisclosed amount. Alta Devices joined CIGS producers MiaSolé, Solibro and Global Solar Energy under the Hanergy roof.

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Over the course of 2020, China’s Hanergy “furloughed” almost all the employees and halted manufacturing at those three U.S. solar companies and at Germany’s Solibro – as well as at its China headquarters. Those unannounced layoffs with no pay or benefits, left more than 600 American workers in the United States unemployed and in the dark, as well as 180 employees in Germany, and thousands in China.

In 2015, Hanergy became the world’s largest solar company by market cap, and Li Hejun, the founder of Hanergy Group, was China’s fifth-richest man. The Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Hanergy, Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, had a market cap of $14 billion, compared to the $5.5 billion market cap of First Solar at that time.

The company’s stock price plunged and trading in Hanergy Thin Film shares was halted in May 2015, following news that the company’s finances had been inflated by intra-unit trading. Hanergy was eventually delisted. Unable to pay its debts, Hanergy was forced to sell its only real asset, a hydro power station, to creditors.

Hanergy has yet to respond to repeated inquiries from pv magazine.

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