July 9, 2013 - Gehrlicher Solar filed for preliminary reorganization proceedings at the District Court of Munich on July, 5th. The court appointed Oliver Schartl from the Munich based lawfirm Müller-Heydenreich Beutler & Kollegen as preliminary administrator.
The filing was an immediate and direct response to the announcement by the banking consortium to terminate the EUR 85 million loan. With the EU-wide introduction of anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese modules and the resulting deterioration of market conditions in Europe, the company is no longer able to fulfill its business plan upon which the 2-year loan agreement extension had been signed just three months ago.
The independent subsidiaries of Gehrlicher Solar, particularly Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation, are not directly affected by the parent's filing. Also not affected by the filing are Gehrlicher Solar Management, an independent sister company of Gehrlicher Solar, and other companies of the Gehrlicher Group.
"We have been working for the energy revolution since 1994, long before the term came into fashion, because we have always believed in the potential of photovoltaics" explains founder, owner and CEO Klaus Gehrlicher. "Even though I am personally very much disappointed, we are proud that, together with other pioneers of the solar industry, we have the privilege to be one of the ‘trailblazers’ of affordable solar energy around the world.".
Management Board Member and COO, Richard von Hehn, urges politicians to act quickly in the trade dispute with China. "Anti-dumping tariffs on modules do not help anyone, not even those who request them, because they destroy jobs throughout the whole PV value chain," says von Hehn. "Federal Government and the European 2 Commission must take action and solve the issue at the political level before the summer break, otherwise further damage to the industry will result."
The preliminary administrator Oliver Schartl, of the Munich-based lawfirm Müller-Heydenreich Beutler & Kollegen, sees chances that there is viable future for a large part of the company's operations: "The company has an excellent reputation in the market, large technological know-how, about 200MW of Operations & Maintenance under contract and is very well positioned the US, which has become one of the most important markets in PV."
Furthermore, Dr. Stefan Parhofer, Management Board Member of GSAG and CEO of Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation, is also optimistic: "We operate completely independent of the German organization and are therefore not directly affected by the parent's filing. Our business partners can rely 100% on us to continue to execute projects to the highest standards."