Solarworld Sees Stakeholders Agreeing on Restructuring in August

Solarworld AG expects share and bond holders to vote on how to restructure operations in August after widening losses forced Germany’s biggest solar-panel producer to agree to issue equity to creditors in exchange for debt it owes.

Solarworld bondholders, meeting today and tomorrow, will choose a representative for negotiations in early July at the latest, the Bonn-based company said today in a statement. The company agreed to the debt-equity swap to cut its liabilities.

“In the next three months, we want to close negotiations with all creditors constructively and thus be able to build a good future for Solarworld,” Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck said. The producer sees Europe’s solar markets returning to “fair competition” in the second half of the year, he said.

Solarworld is among companies battling competition mainly from China that pushed solar panel prices down about 20 percent last year after slumping by half in 2011. That tipped more than a dozen German businesses including Solar Millennium AG and Q-Cells SE, once the largest solar-cell maker, into bankruptcy.

Solarworld struck a preliminary agreement with most of its creditors on a debt-to-equity swap last month to help cut the panel maker’s noncurrent liabilities by about 60 percent.