Solon saved as insolvency proceedings begin

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Microsol International, a UAE based module manufacturer has agreed to acquire the majority of operations of insolvent Solon that could secure most of the 471 jobs at the firm. Insolvency administrator, Ruediger Wienberg announced the deal on the March 1, as insolvency proceedings started. Solon had filed for insolvency in the German courts on December 13, 2011. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed or whether Microsol would be responsible for Solon’s debts or whether the acquisition was primarily asset-based.

Although Microsol will acquire the German manufacturing and sales operations, as well as business units in the US and Italy, the administrator noted that a buyer of Solon’s French operations was being sought.

Failed French firm, Photowatt was also rescued from bankruptcy proceedings last week when EDF agreed to acquire the module manufacturer, securing jobs.

However, two other firms this week have sought protection from creditors in the form of Scheuten Solar and smaller PV producer, Ralos New Energies.

The solar shakeout due to overcapacity and rapidly falling prices has had a significant impact on the industry in 2011, culminating in an extended period of quarterly losses, despite installations reaching a record high of around 26GW last year.

Even low cost producers in China and Taiwan are posting quarterly losses as prices continue to fall at a faster rate than cost reduction initiatives, squeezing margins and creating a period of profitless prosperity.

EDF Energies Nouvelles, a subsidiary of the EDF group, received permission from the Commercial Court of Vienne to buy Photowatt International’s assets out of bankruptcy and continue its operations.

Microsol plans to take over the Berlin site with its solar- panel manufacturing plant and research, procurement and sales divisions. It also seeks to buy Solon units in Italy and the U.S., Wienberg said. He is still looking for a buyer for Solon’s French unit.
 

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