German PV market consolidates
The German subsidiaries of Scheuten Solar and Ralos have declared bankruptcy, but Q-Cells is off the hook for the time being. Microsol is taking over Solon, and LDK is buying into Sunways.
While Germany's Environmental Minister speaks of the "German solar industry's tremendous profits" in the German Parliament, market consolidation continues to roll on. At the end of February, the four German subsidiaries of Scheuten Solar of the Netherlands – Scheuten Solar Production Facilities GmbH, Scheuten Solar Cells GmbH, Scheuten Solar Technology GmbH Scheuten Solar Holding Germany GmbH – filed for bankruptcy. Steffen Reusch and Bernd Depping have been appointed as temporary liquidators at the first-instance court of Essen. The four companies all have headquarters in Gelsenkirchen. The 233 employees will receive insolvency compensation, and wages are safe for three months. The liquidators will have to negotiate with the Dutch parent company to see whether the firms will be sold or shut down. A streamlining concept is to be produced by the end of May. Scheuten Solar specializes in building-integrated photovoltaics.
Ralos New Energies AG of Griesheim has also filed for bankruptcy at the first-instance court of Darmstadt. The company was already having a hard time ensuring its liquidity, and the recent political plans to cut support for solar in Germany left the company no other options than bankruptcy. The firm's two subsidiaries – Ralos Projects GmbH and Ralos Solar GmbH – are also affected. The court in Darmstadt has appointed Bastian Messow as the temporary liquidator for Ralos New Energies AG. His colleague Markus Plathner will be handling the liquidation of Ralos Solar GmbH. Both of them have experience in the partial sale of the bankrupt Gecko Group to Centrosolar. Sylvia Rhein is the temporary liquidator of the other subsidiary.
Q-Cells reaches agreement with creditors
Q-Cells recently announced that it had reached an agreement with all of its creditors for debt and credit lines. In a first round in January, some creditors refused to put off the convertible bonds until the end of April. Now, an agreement has been reached that gives the former German market leader a temporary respite. Indian-Arab firm Microsol has also submitted a binding offer for the takeover of Berlin's bankrupt module manufacturer Solon. Microsol plans to take over 433 of the firm's 471 employees. Chinese cell manufacturer LDK has also become a major shareholder of inverter manufacturer Sunways of Konstanz. The takeover took place as part of a regular capital increase. LDK purchase all new shares, so it now holds a third of the company. (Heiko Schwarzburger / Craig Morris)