Hello Sovello, goodbye EverQ: Solar company changes name, goes indie, delays IPO

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The solar photovoltaic manufacturer formerly known as EverQ has changed its name, plans to operate independently of its parent companies, and delay its initial public offering, according to reports in CleanTech and various German media outlets. The new company, Sovello, says it will cut its ties with Evergreen Solar, Q-Cells, and REC as sales more than double and its third line nears production readiness.

The Saxony-Anhalt, Germany-based company, which manufactures silicon wafers as well as solar cells and modules, uses Evergreen’s String Ribbon process in its production facilities. Its new plant in Thalheim is expected to use Evergreen’s new Quad furnace technology with automated ribbon cutting, the reports say. The two companies also share technology cross-licensing agreements.

Sovello’s rapid growth evidently triggered the move to independence. The company has experienced robust sales of €170 million ($220 million) during the first three quarters of this year, about 115% above those seen in the same period in 2007. During that time, the company’s production volume increased to 64 MWp, up from 28 MWp in the same period last year, and the workforce has grown to about 1100.

The company’s previously announced third production line is expected to begin operating in the spring, according to the news stories. Sovello’s Thalheim plant is reportedly on track, with sample batches providing good results. The line is expected to increase the company’s annual production capacity from 100 MWp to 180 MWp per year.

Evergreen and Q-Cells formed EverQ in January 2005, with REC joining the venture later that year. After announcing plans for the IPO last year and scheduling it for spring 2009, Sovello says it will wait for the optimal time to generate additional investment capital.

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With the name change, the company also switched its organization from GmbH, or limited-liability, to AG, or public limited–moves that will better align Sovello to acquire outside capital for business expansion, officials say.

Although EverQ was a manufacturing-only play, the reports say that Sovello will now take on the responsibility of its own market positioning and marketing.

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