Q-Cells Files for Insolvency as Solar Bankrupcties Rise

Q-Cells Files for Insolvency as German Solar Bankruptcies Rise
Solar panels on the roof of the Q-Cells plant in Thalheim, Germany. Photographer: Jochen Eckel/Bloomberg

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Q-Cells SE, 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.

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, Solar Millennium AG and Solarhybrid AG 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, 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