Intelligent Energy

It's official: UAE's Microsol buys bankrupt solar company Solon

It's official: UAE's Microsol buys bankrupt solar company Solon

Posting in Energy

Earlier this month, SmartPlanet reported that United Arab Emirates-based Microsol had made a binding offer to buy bankrupt German solar panel maker S...

Earlier this month, SmartPlanet reported that United Arab Emirates-based Microsol had made a binding offer to buy bankrupt German solar panel maker Solon. Today, both companies made it official.

Microsol, which makes solar cells, modules and systems, has acquired the "essential components of the insolvent Solon SE and its subsidiaries, including U.S.-based Solon Corporation." The price of the transaction was not disclosed.

About 600 jobs worldwide have been transferred from Solon SE to the new Solon Energy GmbH and other affiliates, according to an emailed statement. The main sites in Berlin-Adlershof, Germany, Tucson, Ariz., and Carmignano di Brenta, Italy will be maintained.

Late last year, Solon was forced to file for insolvency (the equivalent of bankruptcy in the states) after efforts to restructure its loan through talks with investors, the financing banks and guarantors failed. With its filing, Solon joined the ranks of struggling solar panel manufacturers grappling with a particularly sticky challenge: sales are up in many cases, but prices have been falling even faster, with a consequent drag on profits.

Unlike other bankrupt solar panel makers, Solon's knight in shining armor swooped in at the opportune moment and saved the day. Or, more likely, got a great bargain. Dan Alcombright, president of CEO of Solon Corp.'s North America operations, struck a curiously exuberant and optimistic tone in the emailed statement, saying the acquisition provides Solon the backing needed to continue its "robust expansion in the U.S." He went further to say, "Solon is the antidote to the recent phenomenon of solar companies failing today, and shows how new product innovation, such as our SOLquick commercial rooftop product can create value and green technology jobs."

Microsol chairman Anjan Turlapati said the U.S. market will continue to be a strategic growth market for Solon. The acquisition also will bring Solon into new markets, notably India as well as other parts of Asia and the Middle East.

Photo: Solon

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Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure