Solarworld Sees Second-Half Upturn on Solar Restructuring Deal

Solarworld AG (SWV) Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck expects business to improve in the second half as last week’s deal to restructure Germany’s biggest solar-panel maker boosts customers’ confidence.

The agreement will see shareholders lose 95 percent of their holdings and bring in a 35 million-euro ($46 million) investment from Qatar Solar S.P.C., Asbeck said today in a letter to shareholders. The restructuring will be completed by the end of this year or early next year, he said.

While the solar market remains challenging, the deal “sent out a positive signal,” he said. “I am confident that business will improve in the second half of the year compared to the phase of ongoing restructuring.”

More than a dozen German firms including Solar Millennium AG (S2M) and Q-Cells SE, once the world’s largest cell maker, have filed for insolvency in the past two years, with Chinese rivals blamed for selling below cost. The European Commission on Aug. 3 agreed a plan with China for a price floor and import curbs.

Asbeck said that accord “does not fulfil its purpose of stopping the anti-competitive impact of dumping yet, and it violates trade laws in the European Union.” The company will challenge the agreement at the EU’s Court of Justice, he 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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