Thursday, September 27, 2012

Solyndra factory to be auctioned off; debt holders (including US gov.) are not expected to recover much

Solyndra, the bankrupt US government funded solar sheet manufacturer has put its main factory on the auction block.
LCD: - Bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra will hold an auction for its largest remaining asset, the company’s recently completed 412,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility in Fremont, Calif., with an opening offer of nearly $90.3 million from Seagate Technology.
Solyndra factory (source: GigaOM)

The company has been trying to find a "turn-key" buyer who would come in and restart the operations. However as the prices of solar modules are expected to continue declining, while cost of production at the Solyndra plant would stay fairly constant, no buyers showed up.

Based on the UK solar panel industry, Source: Ernst & Young

The business was marketed internationally - including China, but as discussed a while back (see post) the solar panel businesses in China are also heavily government subsidized (which means a standalone business in the US would not make sense for a Chinese firm).
LCD: - Solyndra originally sought a turn-key sale of its assets last October, but by February the company acknowledged that it had failed to find a buyer. It then initiated a piecemeal sale of its assets, hiring Jones Lang LaSalle Brokerage to market its real estate. 
Seagate, the current bidder, would retrofit the facilities to manufacture their own product (hard drives, etc.) - so it's purely a real estate play for them.
Bloomberg: - Solyndra has been liquidating its assets since February after failing to negotiate a deal with a buyer willing to restart operations, according to court papers. So far it has generated about $14.1 million from sales of assets such as solar-panel tubes, manufacturing equipment, appliances and memorabilia and apparel emblazoned with its logo.
With roughly $870 million in debt and the total liquidation proceeds expected to be under $125 million (according to Imperial Capital), the recovery for the debt holders, including the US government, will be quite low.
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