Solar shakeout: Conergy heads for insolvency as creditors baulk at new investor

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German manufacturer and developer Conergy has started insolvency proceedings at the District Court of Hamburg after plans to include a new strategic investor in the company were thwarted by one of 10 existing creditors.

The company also said that unexpected payment delays on one of its large-scale PV projects had resulted in liquidity issues for its module and mounting systems manufacturing operations in Germany, forcing the company to seek creditor protection.

Dr. Philip Comberg, CEO of Conergy said: “In the last fifteen months, we have presented two concrete concepts on the investment by investors to our lenders. We very much regret that they repeatedly could not reach a reliable agreement on a timely implementation of the proposal. Without a solid capital structure, however, Conergy Group cannot continue its course for growth as planned.”

Like many PV module manufacturers, Conergy had shifted business emphasis downstream to include a greater dependence on the PV project business, which requires greater levels of capital injection but has greater profitability over component sales.

“The management board will now fully support the preliminary insolvency administrator in order to hopefully secure all jobs and to continue business operations without any disruptions – in our production facilities, the proceeding of our orders and the installation of our large-scale projects. We will further collaborate closely with the preliminary insolvency administrator in further negotiations with potential investors, as well as with Conergy’s creditors,” added Comberg.

Management noted that its continued push and expansion downstream was dependent on strategic new investors providing sufficient working capital for its projects business.

Conergy said that it could not confirm at this stage whether other international subsidiaries would be able to continue operations.

However, PV Tech has been informed by Conergy UK Ltd that because it operates as a separate legal entity, it is continuing to trade as normal.

The insolvency filing is expected to protect its manufacturing operations and workers, pay for three months while it seeks renewed agreements with creditors and potential new investors under court protection.

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