Solar Millennium’s US subsidiaries file for Chapter 11; former CEO sues for US$265 million

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Solar Millennium’s week has started with a low as the company revealed that its US subsidiaries and investment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Furthermore, the company’s former CEO, Utz Claassen, is suing the company, and certain of its subsidiaries, for US$265 million, claiming harm by defamatory statements to the public and press after he retired in March 2010.

In regard to filing Chapter 11, the company’s bankruptcy administrator intends to allow for a structured sales process of its US projects. Moreover, bankruptcy proceedings will allow for interested parties to enquire about the projects and make offers in the course of a public tendering procedure. The company aims to make the best use of its US projects for its creditors’ benefit, noting that selling its US investments would allow for promising prospects of a cash guarantee furnished by Solar Millennium in the million dollar range to add back to is assets.

The company is simultaneously dealing with the lawsuit filed by Claassen, which specifies Solar Millennium AG, Solar Millennium Solar and the Trust of America, of which Solar Millennium holds a 70% stake, as parties the former CEO is seeking retribution from.

The suit is said to have no immediate impact upon the bankruptcy proceedings, with the company advising that even if Claassen succeeds with his suit, he should be compared to the Solar Millennium insolvency creditors only and should sign the sum of the insolvency table.

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