We are in a period of consolidation in the global market market.
As GTM Research Senior Solar Analyst Shyam Mehta has said, "Consolidation is a nice word that holds a lot of ugly things."
Late last year, Solon, the German manufacturer of solar modules and solar power plants, was going to "attempt restructuring via the insolvency court," according to a release. That's roughly the German equivalent of bankruptcy.
The firm was carrying more than $500 million in debt and was unable to reach an "amicable solution" with its debtors and investors. In August, we reported that the company shut down its 60-megawatt module manufacturing facility in Tucson, resulting in the loss of around 60 jobs. The firm has about 800 employees, according to Die Welt. Solon is also the lead investor in Global Solar Energy, a maker of CIGS flexible solar panels. The impact that the Solon insolvency will have on GSE is unclear.
Solon joined Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, and SpectraWatt in 2011's bankruptcy pool. ECD joined that team in 2012, along with a number of other firms yet to be announced, the victim of plunging prices, overcapacity and a rough economy in an uncertain time for solar policy.
The next chapter in the Solon saga was announced today. Microsol, a vertically integrated United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based cell, module and system manufacturer, acquired "essential components of the insolvent Solon SE and its subsidiaries, including U.S.-based Solon Corporation."
In a fit of absolute optimism, Dan Alcombright, CEO of Solon's North American operations, said, “Microsol’s acquisition will provide Solon the backing needed to continue our robust expansion in the U.S,” and even added, “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.”
According to an email from Solon, 600 jobs worldwide have been transferred from the insolvent SOLON SE (including subsidiaries) to the new SOLON Energy GmbH and the other affiliates. The main sites in Berlin-Adlershof (Germany), Tucson (USA) and Carmignano di Brenta (Italy) will be maintained.
The price of the transaction was not disclosed.