Conergy Frankfurt factory nears sale with 80 jobs to be cut

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Solar manufacturing and construction firm, Conergy, says it is close to selling its module factory in Frankfurt to PV manufacturer, Astronergy.

Astronergy’s proposed acquisition of the factory would result in 80 jobs being lost but 200 safeguarded.

Negotiations with the work council are underway, to be finalised by next week. Conergy’s staff were informed in a meeting today.

An agreement is also anticipated soon for Conergy’s Mounting Systems arm. No further job cuts are planned for the Ransdorf, Germany site. Conergy said an investor is expected to be secured and contracts signed by Christmas, saving the 150 manufacturing jobs in Germany and 30 jobs in Sacremento, California, US.

Production continues as normal at both the Frankfurt and Sacremento sites, both of which have stable order books, Conergy said.

“An agreement is imminent,” said Sven Starke, managing director of the Frankfurt module factory.  “The preservation of our site and two thirds of the workforce are within our grasp. Therefore, I consider this an excellent and future-oriented solution – despite the planned incisions.”

Vice president of Astronergy Chuan Lu said: “We plan to fully integrate the factory into our existing structures.”

As of the 1 October 2013, 52 staff from 200 have been cut from Conergy’s Mounting Systems arm, with most transferred into an interim employment society (Transfergesellschaft) for six months duration, with 80% of net wages, education and training from the transfer company.

“No further job cuts are planned at Mounting Systems,” said insolvency administrator Sven-Holger Undritz from the law firm White and Case. “We are very pleased to be able to establish a transfer company to the employees released as of 1 October. Thereby we can offer them an attractive perspective and support them in their search for a new employment. The remaining around 150 jobs in Rangsdorf as well as the 30 jobs at the manufacturing site in Sacramento are intended to be maintained in the long term though the upcoming acquisition.”

Conergy announced insolvency procedures back in July. The main company was kept afloat, but its module and mounting manufacturing arms sold. Employees were paid for 90 days during insolvency meetings, and Conergy is now a subsidiary of Kawa Capital Management, which has acquired Conergy’s sales operations.

Conergy’s UK and Ireland head previously said the company has emerged “much better than before” it filed for insolvency since securing the necessary investment to keep it afloat.

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