Billionaire Stefan Quandt’s appearance at Solarwatt may have been timely. Since the restructuring plan developed by the management of Solarwatt and ratified by Dresden Municipal Court on September 11, 2012, is now legally valid, Dresden Municipal Court has repealed the insolvency proceedings that had been hanging over the company.
Earlier this year PV-Tech reported how Stefan Quandt, BMW board member and one of the richest people in the world, according to the Forbes list of billionaires, became the majority owner of German-based PV module manufacturer, Solarwatt, which had been in insolvency proceedings since mid-June. it is thought Quandt's presence and financial backing may have played a pivotal role in securing the company's future.
The relief was evident from CEO of Solarwatt Detlef Neuhaus’ statement: “With the repeal of the insolvency proceedings, the company has successfully overcome the biggest challenge in its almost 20-year history and is now active again on the market as a completely restructured company. Now we can get back to concentrating 100% on our business. Despite everything, the market environment remains extremely demanding.
“However, with our focus on comprehensive and decentralized photovoltaic system solutions we can continue to be successful on the market sustainably and above all without any subsidies.”
Rainer Bähr, the creditors’ trustee during the proceedings, added, “Thanks to the commitment and cooperation of the employees and creditors, Solarwatt is now back on solid foundations.”
The restructuring will involve a board reshuffle, with the departure of Dr. Frank Schneider and Dr. Ulrich Link, effective December 31, 2012. Their duties will be adopted by Detlef Neuhaus, Carsten Bovenschen (CFO), and the respective heads of department.
Solarwatt will also be heading downstream, moving from module manufacturing to solar systems manufacturing, with plans to launch new products for the systems sector.
Neuhaus explained, “All the signs are pointing to continued large increases in energy prices in the future. With our system solutions, consumers can supply themselves with energy independently and decentrally, making it possible for them to become more independent of energy providers and to save costs. A 25-year warranty ensures that the investment also pays off for our customers.”
The company has also announced the implementation of reduced working hours, having already lost 98 out of a 435 strong work force. The reduced working hours will initially be available for the next six months as an instrument for regulating working capacity – the application of the option will be decided on a week-by-week basis based on the current job volume.
The reduced working hours will only affect the production and manufacturing of the solar modules; the development and production activities concerning Solarwatt system solutions will continue unchanged as a high priority.