Q-Cells Files for Insolvency as Solar Bankrupcties Rise

By Stefan Nicola – Apr 3, 2012 9:28 AM MT

Q-Cells SE (QCE), once the world’s biggest solar-cell maker, filed for insolvency today, the fourth large solar company from Germany to do so since December.

Q-Cells’s filing with the Dessau-Rosslau court occurred a day after the Thalheim-based company said it would have to take that step amid attempts to continue operations.

Solar panels on the roof of the Q-Cells plant in Thalheim, Germany. Photographer: Jochen Eckel/Bloomberg

German solar companies have struggled with reduced state aid and competition from Chinese companies including Suntech Power Holdings Co. that have expanded capacity, creating a glut in solar panels. Solon SE (SOO1)Solar Millennium AG (S2M) and Solarhybrid AG (SHL) all filed for insolvency the past four months.

Q-Cells, with about 2,300 workers and production facilities in Germany and Malaysia, is one of the biggest renewable energy employers in Germany.

Henning Schorisch, a lawyer with HWW Wienberg Wilhelm, was appointed preliminary insolvency administrator and had arrived at company headquarters, Ina von Spies, a spokeswoman, said today by phone.

“It’s now on us to support with all our strength the insolvency administrator in its plan to create a new concept to secure the company and the jobs,” Chief Executive Officer Nedim Cen said in an e-mailed statement.

Q-Cells rose 7.9 percent, to 13.6 euro cents, by the 5:30 p.m. close of Frankfurt trading after Mitteldeutsche Zeitung reported the German state of Saxony-Anhalt may help the company in its restructuring effort. The newspaper cited an interview with Jens Bullerjahn, the state’s finance minister.

Q-Cells said it had to file for insolvency after a decision in late March by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court required Pfleiderer AG (PFD4), a wood processing company, to seek unanimous agreement from creditors to a debt restructuring.

Until that court decision, Q-Cells had planned to restructure its debt based on approval by a majority of creditors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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