Friday, August 26, 2011

Evergreen Solar Files Bankruptcy

The Marlboro-based solar panel manufacturer, Evergreen Solar is voluntary filing Chapter 11 debt restructuring bankruptcy filing.

The news came last Monday from federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. It's the latest blow to Evergreen Solar as the former alternative energy darling struggles to recover from a series of body blows.

In March, the last 800 employees streamed from the Devens plant with those jobs outsourced to Wuhan, China. On Monday, it was also announced that 65 employees will be cut from the company's European and US workforce, including a suspension of operations at Evergreen's Midland, Michigan plant.

The Massachusetts plant closure prompted outrage as the company was once the centerpiece of the Patrick Administration's "green energy" push. Evergreen benefited from millions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives to build its 450,000-square-foot factory in Devens.

The factory itself was at the epicenter of a two-year battle with residential neighbors in Harvard who struggled with Evergreen Solar for relief from the round-the-clock din produced by the then-humming plant.

At times over the past year, the company struggled to keep its head above water with the NASDAQ stock exchange, which requires a value of at least $1 a share for listings. On Monday, the stock was trading down more than 60 percent of its value at just 16 cents a share.

Evergreen has indicated that it's brokered a deal to restructure its debt with holders of more than 70 percent of its outstanding 13-percent convertible senior secured notes through a vehicle called ES Purchaser, LLC, which will serve as a "stalking horse" for potential partial or total asset purchases or any possibly anonymous takeover talks. As part of its new survival plan, Evergreen Solar will sell off its String Ribbon silicon wafer technology business assets.

ESLR closed Monday down 57 percent or 24 cents a share to rest at 18 cents a share. Three years ago, the stock was selling at $60 a share.


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