SolarWorld confirms Qatar funds bid

Debt-laden PV company SolarWorld has confirmed that it is close to securing funds from a Qatari investor.

A press official confirmed to Recharge an earlier report quoting SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck on the matter, in which he said the size of a potential stake will be published at an extraordinary general meeting of the German group.

German stock market rules stipulate that such a meeting needs to be announced at least 36 days in advance, the official added, meaning that a potential deal won’t go through before June. There was no indication which Qatari investor is involved.

SolarWorld has long held links to Qatar via its 29%-stake in Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), a polysilicon company owned 70% by the Qatar Foundation. The Qatar Development Bank owns another 1% in QStec.

The German PV firm yesterday said it had come to an agreement with a majority of its creditors over a major 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 earlier this week.