Solar Shakeout: Siliken US subsidiaries file for bankruptcy

  • Siliken Manufacturing USA and Siliken USA filed petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California. Image: mrbill
    Siliken Manufacturing USA and Siliken USA filed petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California. Image: mrbill

Two US-based subsidiaries of vertically integrated Spanish PV company Siliken have filed for financial relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Siliken Manufacturing USA and Siliken USA filed petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California. Chapter 11 offers a company the option to stay in business, while reorganising its debts and using its income to repay creditors.

The Siliken Companies are represented by Cooley, LLP (Ali Mojdehi and Janet Gertz), general bankruptcy counsel to the companies.

“It has become increasingly clear that the Siliken Companies will not have the capital resources they need to move forward with their business strategy due to the continued weak US economy, along with an environment of continued downward price pressures for PV solar energy products and the lack of outside investment sources,” said Scott Sporrer, Vice President and General Manager of Siliken USA.

In May 2011, Siliken had already made tentative steps towards exiting the US market as it moved operations across the border to Tijuana, Mexico. However, last year there were reports that Siliken planed to terminate production at this plant in the near future.

On home ground in Europe, the company launched its restructuring plans by closing its module production facilities in Casas Ibáñez, Spain.

Siliken also implemented a 'labour force adjustment plan' at its factory in Rafelbuñol, Spain, which led to the closure of its non-automated line. This resulted in a serious of demonstrations from employees against the lay-offs.

The closures of its European facilities followed Siliken’s expansion into the Asian market, when the company opened two offices in Tokyo and Singapore last July.

In October 2012, the Siliken companies engaged Richard Kipperman of Corporate Management as Chief Restructuring Officer. With the assistance of Kipperman, the Siliken companies have been evaluating their restructuring options and have concluded that seeking protection under the Bankruptcy Code was the best means of providing value to their constituents.

PV-Tech has approached Siliken for comment.

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