Friday, May 3, 2013
Qatari Investor Close To Taking Stake In SolarWorld
Fri., May 3, 2013
Debt-laden SolarWorld is close to securing financial backing from a Qatari investor, its chief executive said on Thursday, the second major move in a week in its efforts to get back on its feet. "We will publish the size of the potential stake at the extraordinary general meeting," Frank Asbeck, nicknamed the "sun king" by solar industry media, told Reuters on Thursday, declining to name the investor. One source familiar with the process said that Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), a previous joint venture between SolarWorld and the Qatar Foundation, was willing to take a minority stake in what was once Germany's largest solar company. SolarWorld holds 29 percent of QSTec, and the Qatar Foundation 70 percent. The remaining 1 percent is owned by the Qatar Development Bank. Earlier this week, SolarWorld said it reached a preliminary deal on restructuring its 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) debt load, including a debt-to-equity swap that would hand its creditors most of the ailing solar group. Solar companies have suffered from massive overcapacity of cells and modules, driving many sector players out of the market or into the arms of foreign buyers.