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First Solar Will Cut 30% of Workforce, Shutter Plants

First Solar Inc., the largest thin-film panel maker, will cut 30 percent of its workforce, about 2,000 jobs, as demand in Europe slows faster than the company can expand in emerging markets in Asia. The shares surged.

Most of the jobs to be eliminated will be at a factory it’s closing in Germany and in Malaysia, where it’s idling four production lines, the Tempe, Arizona-based company said today in a statement. The company will pay $245 million to $370 million in severance and related costs.