Gehrlicher Solar receives €85 million to expand operations

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A syndicate of banks led by BayernLB has provided Gehrlicher Solar with a loan of €85 million (US$109 million) to expand its international project business.

The new financing follows the expiration of a previous loan of €180 million (US$232 million) from 2010 and also includes a guarantee of €30 million for another two years.

The 'mezzanine' capital, a hybrid of debt and equity financing that is typically used to finance the expansion of existing companies, of €6 million was also extended by Bayern Mezzaninekapital GmbH & Co. KG for the same period.

The consortium agreement was signed on 11 April 2013 with an unchanged banking syndicate, securing finance for project developer and system integrator Gehrlicher Solar until 28 February 2015.

“In spite of a very tough industry environment, we believe more than ever in the long-term potential of photovoltaic and that ultimately convinced our finance partners too,” says founder and CEO Klaus Gehrlicher.

In 2012, the company reported a 400% revenue growth for its PV systems business in the US. To further expand the international project business Stefan Parhofer was appointed to the board of directors as chief strategy/sales officer on 2 May 2013. He has spent the last two years building up the US business as CEO of the American subsidiary, a position he will continue to hold in addition to his new role.

Richard von Hehn has also been appointed to the board as chief operating officer, and will concentrate on the European business. Since joining the company in 2009 he has held various executive positions, including Head of Corporate Strategy and Development and most recently Head of Purchasing and Wholesale.

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