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Q-Cells Seeks Bond Deferral as Single Holder Demands Repayment

Q-Cells SE (QCE) said a request by a bondholder for repayment at the end of the month won’t hamper its restructuring plans as the German solar company seeks more time to pay back 200 million euro ($266 million) of bonds.

The company has scheduled a meeting of bondholders in Frankfurt on Feb. 27 to propose deferring the maturity of the 2012 bond to April 30 from February 28, Ina von Spies, a spokeswoman for Q-Cells, said by phone today.

The Dreier Riedel Rechtsanwaelte law firm said in an e- mailed statement that Q-Cells and a bondholder it’s representing failed to reach an agreement.

The bondholder’s request “won’t hinder the financial restructuring process,” von Spies said.

Germany’s solar manufacturers are under pressure from Chinese rivals that have boosted capacity even as international prices slumped. Berlin-based module maker Solon SE and Solar Millennium AG, with headquarters in Erlangen, filed for insolvency in December.

Q-Cells said on Feb. 1 it reached an agreement “in principle” with the main holders of its 2012, 2014 and 2015 convertible bonds to complete a debt restructuring in one step after last month seeking to pursue a two-step transaction. The bondholders, mainly institutional investors, will be able to swap their debt for 95 percent of equity. Holders of the 2012 note will also get a cash payment of 20 million euros.

“Q-Cells is trying to change the bond conditions through the backdoor,” Peter Dreier, of Dreier Riedel Rechtsanwaelte, said by phone. “In our view, they’re not going to succeed and we demand that Q-Cells will have to pay back the bond in full at the end of this month.”

Dreier is representing several smaller bondholders and has filed the suit representing a single holder of bonds, he said. A regional court on Jan. 23 stopped the bond being deferred after a suit filed by Dreier.

Q-Cells has settled with those bondholders who filed their motions within the deadline “and therefore the decision by the Frankfurt court is invalid,” von Spies said. The company is in talks to reach agreements with more bondholders, she said.

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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