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Business

Solar Firms On The Ropes

by Melody M. Bomgardner
March 3, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 9

The downturn in profitability in the solar industry has pushed three solar firms to sell off assets. Austin, Texas-based HelioVolt, a producer of thin-film copper indium gallium selenide cells, has lost the backing of its major investor, SK Group. HelioVolt raised $200 million and had planned to commercialize its production process internationally with help from the South Korean conglomerate. But the firm now says it will suspend manufacturing and look for partners or buyers for its intellectual property and demonstration facility. Meanwhile, two crystalline silicon solar-cell makers, Suntech Power and LDK Solar, are working with joint provisional liquidators in the Cayman Islands, their place of incorporation, to negotiate with off-shore creditors. Both firms have missed several debt payments to creditors. Suntech has filed to restructure operations in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. LDK Solar says its operations in China will not be affected during the reorganization.

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