Solyndra Files Plan to Reorganize in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Solyndra LLC, the solar-panel maker that received a $535 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee for seeking bankruptcy protection, filed a Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

The plan provides for holders of allowed administrative expenses and priority claims to be paid in full, and assets of Solyndra will be vested in the Solyndra Residual Trust, according to a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Holders of Solyndra’s general unsecured claims, valued at $50 million to $120 million, are expected to recover from 2.5 percent to 6 percent, according to a disclosure statement filed with the plan.

“The plan proposes to fairly and efficiently restructure the debtors’ liabilities and distribute the debtors’ assets in a manner that will allow these Chapter 11 cases to be promptly concluded,” the company said in a filing.

The plan’s sponsors are identified as Argonaut Ventures I LLC and and Madrone Partners LP. Argonaut Ventures is the investment arm of billionaire George Kaiser’s charitable organization.

The Fremont, California-based company sought Chapter 11 protection in September 2011 just days before its offices were raided by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation seeking evidence of possible fraud. The company fired more than 1,000 workers.

Energy Department

Solyndra was one of about 40 alternative-energy projects that received funding from a U.S. Energy Department loan program that helped companies seeking to generate power through wind, solar or other forms of renewable energy. Government officials said they hoped the projects could create more than 50,000 jobs.

Solyndra’s collapse prompted congressional scrutiny of President Barack Obama, who praised the company during a May 2010 tour of its facilities. The company faced criticism from Republicans in Congress over the federal loan guarantee it used to build a $733 million factory.

The case is In re Solyndra LLC, 11-12799, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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