Solarworld Sees Second-Half Upturn on Solar Restructuring Deal

Solarworld AG Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck expects business to improve in the second half as last week’s deal to restructure Germany’s biggest solar-panel maker boosts customers’ confidence.

The agreement will see shareholders lose 95 percent of their holdings and bring in a 35 million-euro ($46 million) investment from Qatar Solar S.P.C., Asbeck said today in a letter to shareholders. The restructuring will be completed by the end of this year or early next year, he said.

While the solar market remains challenging, the deal “sent out a positive signal,” he said. “I am confident that business will improve in the second half of the year compared to the phase of ongoing restructuring.”

More than a dozen German firms including Solar Millennium AG and Q-Cells SE, once the world’s largest cell maker, have filed for insolvency in the past two years, with Chinese rivals blamed for selling below cost. The European Commission on Aug. 3 agreed a plan with China for a price floor and import curbs.

Asbeck said that accord “does not fulfil its purpose of stopping the anti-competitive impact of dumping yet, and it violates trade laws in the European Union.” The company will challenge the agreement at the EU’s Court of Justice, he said.

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