SolarWorld restructuring to drag on

Germany’s embattled PV manufacturer SolarWorld now expects crucial decisions about its restructuring to be taken in August, after a bondholder meeting yesterday failed to reach the necessary quorum to approve any measures.

Shares plunged 5.5% in Frankfurt today at 1005 CET to €0.775 ($0.998) while the TecDAX technology index fell 1.93%.

Holders representing less than 50% of outstanding company bonds with maturity in 2016 showed up at a meeting yesterday, SolarWorld spokesman and vice-president Milan Nitzschke told Recharge.

A second meeting today for holders of a bond with a 2017 maturity is also expected to fail to reach the necessary quorum for decision making.

Bondholders now will be invited for a new assembly in early July that is slated to appoint a noteholders’ representative for further negotiations. Both bondholders and company shareholders at a meeting in August then are due to vote on the implementation of restructuring measures.

“In the next three months, we want to close negotiations with all creditors constructively and thus be able to build a good future for SolarWorld,” CEO Frank Asbeck said in a release.

SolarWorld earlier this month had confirmed that it is close to securing funds from a Qatari investor, but said the size of a potential stake will be published at an extraordinary general meeting on 11 July.

SolarWorld’s partner Qatar Solar Technologies according to unconfirmed media reports could take up to 20% in the German PV maker.

SolarWorld has also said it has come to an agreement with a majority of its creditors over a restructuring that would allow it to cut its noncurrent liabilities by about 60%. Much of the restructuring would be accounted for by a debt-to-equity swap.

SolarWorld’s net debt swelled to €780m ($1.02bn) in 2012, from €718m in 2011, the company said in late April.