It’s official: CIGS manufacturer Solyndra files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

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Less than a week after shutting down manufacturing operations, Solyndra followed through on its announced intention to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The beleaguered CIGS thin-film PV firm said it hopes to reorganize and find a buyer and would like to avoid liquidating its assets.

The company noted in the filing with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware that it is “pursuing a two-pronged strategy to effectuate either a sale of their business to a ‘turnkey’ buyer who may acquire substantially all of Solyndra’s assets” or if “unable to identify any such potential buyers,” to move forward on “an orderly liquidation of the [company’s] assets for the benefit of their creditors.”

Court documents also revealed that the company held more than $783 million in senior secured debt as of last week, and had experienced a net loss of $329 million on revenues of $142 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 1, 2011. It also showed an assets book value of $859 million and liabilities book value of $749 million at that time.  

The documents also provide details on Solyndra’s failed efforts, beginning in February 2011, to “raise further incremental capital to fund operations until the company could generate positive cash flow from operations” and how its inability to secure “bridge financing” from some of its existing investors led to the sudden shutdown of operations on Aug. 31.

The filing listed Solyndra’s top shareholders as Argonaut Ventures (38.9%), Madrone Partners (13%), US Venture Partners (9.2%), and Rockport Capital Partners (7.33%).

Although Solyndra had announced it would lay off its entire workforce—said to be 968 full-time and 211 temporary employees in the filing—the documents said that a core team of 113 employees will remain to “assist with the restructuring efforts.”

In addition to the circumstances leading to the Chapter 11 filing previously stated by Solyndra, such as the deteriorating business conditions, oversupply of panels, drastically reduced pricing, and lowered incentives in Europe, the company noted that its “ability to timely collect on accounts receivable was negatively impacted as foreign competitors offered extended payment terms, resulting in Solyndra’s customers refusing to honor their previously agreed payment terms.”

Documents also revealed that PV glass supplier Schott Solar topped the list of creditors holding the largest unsecured claims, with unpaid accounts receivable of more than $7.688 million. Other Solyndra vendors cited as claimants included MGS Manufacturing Group ($7.5 million), Certified Thermoplastics ($2.4 million), ME2 Manufacturing & Engineering ($2.06 million), Lintelle Engineering ($1.9 million), and Amcor Pharmaceutical Packing ($1.8 million). 

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