Solarstrom moves closer to securing lifeline investment

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Beleaguered German PV developer, SAG Solarstrom, has given an upbeat assessment of its prospects of finding the necessary investment to allow it to continue operation.

The company, which went into insolvency at the end of last year, said it was confident of being able to give creditors notification of “clear future prospects” by the time a scheduled meeting is held on 16 May.

Solarstrom ran into difficulties in December when cash flow problems and the collapse of a substantial pipeline of projects in the UK forced it to apply for insolvency. The company has since been seeking investors in a bid to head off bankruptcy.

In a statement today, SAG Solarstrom’s insolvency administrator, Jörg Nerlich, said the company had received expressions of interest from investors from Europe and North America, ranging from the company as a whole to individual assets of the group.

Chief executive Karl Kuhlmann added: “We have selected from the numerous expressions of interest those investors who strategically best suit the SAG Solarstrom Group and thus offer very good opportunities for continuance. We are estimating that we will be able to present clear future prospects by the creditors’ meeting on May 16.”

Solarstrom also said it expected to recoup by June the €20 million (US$27.7 million) it had been due to receive at the end of year but failed to receive, sparking the company’s insolvency claim. This money comes from the sale of German PV projects, the sale of Italian system portfolio and the repayment of a loan.

However, Solarstrom said this cash inflow would not directly impact the insolvency process because of other losses arising from the cancelled projects in the UK.

The company still has a moratorium on implementing any new plant construction projects due to the ongoing insolvency process.

However, the company said it was continuing to build its international project pipeline.

Nerlich said: “I am convinced that we will be successful in continuing the company together with a strategic investor. We have thus been able not only to retain around 170 jobs but will even be able to create new jobs again in the future.”

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