News Single (PL)

SolarWorld: Significant staff reduction needed to safeguard perspectives

poniedziałek, 17.07.2017 15:00

  • Continuation of business as of August 1, 2017, only with staff reduction possible 
  • Interested investors still need months to reach a decision
  • “In the midst of a conflict area between rescue prospects and cost structures.”

 

Today, the preliminary insolvency administrator of SolarWorld AG, attorney at law, Horst Piepenburg, informed employees in Freiberg (Saxony) and Arnstadt (Thuringia) about the current situation regarding preliminary insolvency proceedings.

The committed staff, logistics service providers, suppliers and debtors have achieved much during the past eight weeks, managing to stabilize and continue business operations: during preliminary insolvency proceedings, the company not only processed and sold existing inventory goods, but was also able to generate new business opportunities in the low double-digit million range. This allowed production lines at the manufacturing sites to maintain operations in a three-shift system.

However, due to high production costs, it was not possible to generate enough liquid funds during the eight weeks of preliminary insolvency proceedings to cover personnel costs for the current 1,850 employees after the period of insolvency benefit payments expires on August 1, 2017.

At the same time, interested investors, who are involved in the due diligence process, have signalized that they would still need up to four months to complete their audit: The legal relationships are complex and the potential future scenarios presented have to be thoroughly analyzed and calculated. Currently, various interested strategical investors are examining the competitiveness of the company.

“Thus, we are in the midst of a conflict area between rescue prospects and new perspectives on the one hand, and current material, structure and personnel costs, which we are not able to fully compensate for, on the other,” explained the preliminary insolvency administrator. Considering the order intake and the global challenges of the solar industry, the insolvent companies will have to reduce personnel costs significantly after July 31, 2017, and lay off employees. Neither the Federal Government, nor the federal states or Brussels have funding pools available to compensate the expected deficit in the upcoming months.

Naturally, the preliminary insolvency administration will continue to pursue all available options until the beginning of August 2017.

“Our goal is and remains to continue business operations of the insolvent companies after start of insolvency proceedings in the interest of potential investors and in agreement with the debtors, with a reduced staff and taking into account the conditions of a running production and the continued use of production lines,” explained Piepenburg.

Thereto also commissions for contractual work as toll manufacturer are currently being thoroughly analyzed and calculated. For this reasons, necessary layoffs cannot be decided until the week before the start of insolvency proceedings.

Finally, the preliminary insolvency administrator emphasized that he would do everything in his power to continue production at the manufacturing sites in order to preserve the insight, know-how, skills and abilities as well as the innovation capabilities of SolarWorld: “Thus, we will be able to maintain a ground for the further bidding process and the successful sale of assets in the interest of the debtors as well as safeguard the perspectives of photovoltaics in Germany.”

The employees in Bonn received a written information today. The preliminary insolvency administrator will personally talk to them to clarify questions on July 18, 2017.

Due to staff reduction plans that had already been started, the insolvent companies of the SolarWorld group are currently employing less than 1,850 employees (at the time of the insolvency application on May 11, 2017, staff amounted to almost 2,200).

 

About SolarWorld
SolarWorld manufactures and sells high-tech solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The group, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, operates facilities in Freiberg, Germany; Arnstadt, Germany; and Hillsboro, Oregon, USA as well as in a joint venture with Qatar Solar Technologies. From raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and modules, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including research and development in its own company, SolarWorld Innovations.

Through an international distribution network with locations in Europe, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Africa and Qatar, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world. SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at www.solarworld.com

About Piepenburg-Gerling law firm
The law firm was founded in 2001. As an insolvency or bankruptcy administrator, Attorney Piepenburg has supervised and supported around 2,000 mandates in the past 30 years. Furthermore, he was active as manager at Babcock Borsig, for example, as well as the postal services manager, PIN.

Between 1999 and 2013, Piepenburg was chairman of the Insolvency Law and Financial Restructuring Working Group at the German Lawyers' Association For many years, he has been member of the Gravenbruch Circle, the association of Germany’s leading insolvency administrators and restructuring experts.

 

Contact:
thomas SCHULZ, tsc.komm
Phone: +49 (0) 171 86 86 482
Email: tsc@tsc-komm.de

 

Contact for product media:
Tiffany Künster
SolarWorld AG
Martin-Luther-King-Str. 24
53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0) 228 55920 314
Email: press@solarworld.com 
www.solarworld.de