SAN FRANCISCO—Loss-ridden Evergreen Solar Inc. Monday (Aug. 15) announced that it filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.
Evergreen (Marlboro, Mass.), a manufacturer of solar cells, said it would cut about 65 jobs in the U.S. and Europe as part of reorganization activities connected to the bankruptcy filing. The reorganization includes suspension of operations at the company's filament facility in Midland, Mich., Evergreen said.
Evergreen said it expects to continue manufacturing operations at its facility in Wuhan, China, depending on market demand while the company engages in discussions with investors in China regarding possible changes to that operation and its sources of financing, including the possibility of transitioning its operations to the company’s new industry standard wafer technology.
Evergreen said it entered into a restructuring support agreement with holders of 70 percent of the company's 13 percent convertible senior secured notes. Evergreen said it was considering selling some of its assets, including its wafer technology assets.
As part of the restructuring, an entity formed by the supporting noteholders, ES Purchaser, LLC, entered into an asset purchase agreement with Evergree, the company said. ES Purchaser will serve as a "stalking-horse” and provide a "credit-bid" for assets being sold, Evergreen ssaid.
In January, Evergreen announced its intent to shut down operations at its Devens, Mass,. manufacturing facility, cutting about 800 jobs. According to a report by the Associated Press, Evergreen received millions in grants and tax incentives from Massachusetts before announcing the closure of the Devens facility.
"Since January, Evergreen Solar has been aggressively repositioning itself to fully leverage the potential our String Ribbon wafers can bring to high volume solar cell and module manufacturers as these customers are facing severe pressure to further reduce their total cost of manufacturing and particularly their wafer supply costs," said Michael El-Hillow, Evergreen's president and CEO, in a statement. "The actions we are taking today enable the continued development of an industry standard wafer using Evergreen’s differentiated technology and thereby provide the lowest cost wafer to the growing solar industry."
Evergreen expects to continue its technology development without interruption during the Chapter 11 process, El-Hillow said. "Day-to-day operations will go on as usual as employees carry out their responsibilities and we will continue to pay our suppliers and vendors for goods and services received during this period," he said.