SPI European unit now solvent

Suntech Power International (SPI), the Switzerland-based sales unit of fallen PV group Suntech Power Holdings (SPH) has completed the moratorium phase of its insolvency proceedings.

The Schaffhausen Cantonal Court has approved a dividend agreement to resolve the claims of SPI’s creditors, bringing an end to the mandate of the Swiss administrator, Suntech Power Holdings said in an online statement.

The ruling is significant because it means that Schaffhausen-based SPI is now a solvent unit of the Suntech group, under the oversight of its board of directors.

"SPI is a significant entity in Europe and an integral cog for the continued restructuring of the group as a whole,” said David Walker, the joint provisional liquidator of Suntech Power Holdings.

The Swiss administrator will continue to work with the the Suntech group’s board to oversee the implementation of the dividend agreement, including efforts to pay dividends to SPI's creditors.

Walker hailed the development as an “important milestone,” adding that the court decision had “closed a difficult chapter for SPI.”

Suntech Power Holdings — based in Wuxi, in China's Jiangsu province — has yet to complete its bankruptcy proceedings in the Cayman Islands.

Last April, Shunfeng Photovoltaic International's shareholders approved the company's $480m acquisition of Wuxi Suntech, the production unit of Suntech Power Holdings. Shunfeng has since become one of the most aggressive investors in solar projects in China.