Court OKs SolarWorld restructuring

The higher regional court of Cologne has granted embattled German PV group SolarWorld permission to implement a restructuring that was backed by shareholders and bondholders last summer.

"The resolutions will now be commercially registered and implemented,” says chief financial officer Philipp Koecke.

“This means that we will be able to successfully complete the financial restructuring of the company precisely within our self-defined schedule.”

Under the restructuring, about 55% of SolarWorld’s liabilities will be converted into shares in the reformulated company following a capital increase.

Qatar Solar will take a 29% equity stake in the revamped SolarWorld, while chief executive Frank Asbeck will buy 19.5% through a private investment.

Shareholders in the existing company will be left with 5%.

"This will return SolarWorld AG to a solid financial footing,” CEO Asbeck claimed.“The year 2014 marks the birth of a new SolarWorld.”

Despite undergoing its own restructuring, SolarWorld in November said it will buy parts of Bosch’s solar business, including 700MW cell production capacity and 200MW of module production capacity in the eastern German city of Arnstadt.

Qatar Solar Technology also signed the restructuring contract and earlier has said it is providing both actual loans and back-up credit lines that his company is regarding as sufficient to ensure the continuation of SolarWorld.

Asbeck blames Chinese overcapacity and supposed dumping prices for the demise of the European solar industry, and has pushed for anti-dumping tariffs to be slapped on Chinese PV kit, both in the US and in Europe.

The court with its ruling turned down law suits against the decision by shareholders and bond holders last year.