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Energy Conversion to Fire 300 as Uni-Solar Auction Fails

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May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Energy Conversion Devices Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy protection in February, will fire 300 employees because it didn’t receive any acceptable bids for an auction of its United Solar Ovonic LLC unit.

The cuts will start immediately and the company will retain a smaller staff to manage the bankruptcy process, Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Energy Conversion said today in a statement.

The company canceled the May 8 auction for its thin-film photovoltaic panel unit and won’t continue a court-approved sale process, according to the statement. Energy Conversion is one of four U.S. solar companies to seek bankruptcy protection in the past year.

“Today’s announcement is one that everyone here at ECD and Uni-Solar worked extremely hard to avoid,” Julian Hawkins, president and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Calls to Kim Paulson, a spokeswoman, weren’t answered and an e-mail was returned with an error message.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

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

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