centrotherm photovoltaics AG

EANS-News: centrotherm photovoltaics AG files for Chapter 11-type proceedings under its own administration

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Financially Distressed Companies


Blaubeuren (euro adhoc) - - Company to consistently pursue reorganization path
 - Reorganization expert Tobias Hoefer appointed to Management Board to
   support company's own administration

Blaubeuren, July 10, 2012 - centrotherm photovoltaics AG has today submitted an
application to the relevant District Court of Ulm for the launching of
insolvency protection proceedings (pursuant to the German Act Relating to the
Further Simplification of the Reorganization of Companies [ESUG], and Section
270b of the German Insolvency Directive [InsO]), and for the opening of
insolvency proceedings under its own administration in connection with this
application. With the help of these proceedings, the company aims to
consistently pursue the reorganization path that it has already adopted. The
application includes the subsidiaries centrotherm thermal solutions GmbH & Co.
KG and centrotherm SiTec GmbH. The activities of the companies centrotherm
management services GmbH & Co. KG and centrotherm cell & module GmbH are to be
prospectively bundled within the parent company as part of the reorganization.
All other subsidiaries both in Germany and abroad will continue to operate as
previously, and will not participate in the insolvency protection proceedings.

The German Act Relating to the Further Simplification of the Reorganization of
Companies (ESUG), an instrument to provide protection to companies in
insolvency proceedings, and an act which did not come into force until March 1,
2012, allows companies to restructure themselves based on a coordinated
reorganization and future concept. During the "protective" phase, which is
limited to three months, the company is largely protected from creditors'
enforcements and sanctions, and can remain fully operational.

The Management and Supervisory boards of centrotherm photovoltaics AG are
convinced that this step is the best option in the company's current difficult
situation to successfully conclude the Group's reorganization (which has
already started), in the interests of employees, customers, suppliers,
shareholders and creditors, and to thereby secure the Group as a going concern.

To support these moves, the Supervisory Board of centrotherm photovoltaics AG
has appointed reorganization expert Tobias Hoefer to the Management Board with
effect as of July 11, 2012. Tobias Hoefer, a specialist insolvency lawyer,
specializes in highly complex corporate reorganizations. His most notable
reorganizations include internationally operating groups AKsys and Robert Sihn
(automotive supply companies), ATS (rim manufacturer), and NDT Systems &
Services (ultrasound testing systems).

Protection proceedings create scope for sustainable future concept
"Given the insolvency protection proceedings, I see my new role as being a
moderator of the interests of all parties involved in the proceedings. The
joint objective of all these parties must be to maintain centrotherm as a
company despite the serious market slump, and to lead it to a successful
future. All will benefit if we succeed in this endeavor. The insolvency
protection proceedings offer the best opportunities to achieve this, and I
believe that my more than 15 years of experience as a corporate reorganizer,
and as an insolvency administrator, can be of use in the necessary settlement
of interests," Tobias Hoefer underscored.

Business operations continue as usual
Business operations at centrotherm photovoltaics AG and the other Group
companies are currently continuing as usual. "Our customers continue to receive
the same first-class quality engineering and services, technology and products
from centrotherm to which they are accustomed," emphasizes CEO Robert M.
Hartung.

"The protection provided by the ESUG creates the necessary scope to realize a
balanced and sustainable future concept that lies in the interests of all
participants in the proceedings. At the same time, centrotherm photovoltaics AG
continues to be able to manage its operations itself. Since we remain solvent,
we can both process customer orders to schedule, and also pay our suppliers,"
notes Robert M. Hartung. Liabilities that were originated before the
application for the insolvency protection proceedings was filed cannot be
satisfied during the protection proceedings, however. They are nevertheless to
be satisfied as best as possible as part of the reorganization concept
coordinated with creditors.

Core elements of the reorganization of the centrotherm photovoltaics Group
Concentration on technological strengths and core business areas, such as
mechanical engineering for the energy and high-tech industry areas, are to form
the cornerstones of the future concept which is to be elaborated further over
the coming weeks. "We were, and are, world market leaders in thermal equipment
and related technologies. We must, and will, invest further in this expertise,
in order to maintain our technological and competitive league," as Robert M.
Hartung made clear.

He went on to note that, with its products, centrotherm can be a technology and
efficiency motor for the global energy revolution, and realize so-called grid
parity, in other words, make photovoltaic electricity competitive with
conventional energy sources. For this reason, centrotherm photovoltaics is
experiencing high demand, particularly on new markets such as the MENA region
(Middle East and North Africa). He commented that this development offers great
potentials for the future. By contrast with its previous approach, the company
would nevertheless now contribute only its expertise and products as a
technology partner in major projects when tapping such potentials, in order to
thereby limit risks, according to Robert M. Hartung.

Further capacity adjustments and cost reductions are required, however, given
the slump in the solar industry over recent months, and the resultant decline
in orders and sales. "We require further structural adjustments in order to
secure our company's continued existence in the future. This will allow us to
maintain centrotherm's competitiveness in a difficult market situation,"
emphasized Jan von Schuckmann, Management Board member responsible for
restructuring. "In parallel, we will continue to invest in research &
development, and extend our extraordinary market position."

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG
centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, Germany, is a
globally leading technology and equipment provider for the photovoltaics
sector. The company equips well-known solar companies and new sector entrants
with turnkey production lines and single equipment to manufacture silicon, and
crystalline solar cells and modules. As a consequence, the Group possesses a
broad and well-founded technological basis, as well as key equipment at
practically all steps of the photovoltaics value chain. centrotherm
photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance parameters such as
production capacity, efficiencies, and completion deadlines. The Group employed
around 1,900 staff as of the December 31, 2011 reporting date, and operates
globally in Europe, Asia and the USA. centrotherm photovoltaics achieved
revenue in the 2011 financial year of around EUR 700 million. The company is
listed in the Prime Standard on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.


Further inquiry note:
Contact:
Saskia Feil
Senior Manager Investor & Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8890
E-mail: saskia.feil@centrotherm.de

Nathalie Albrecht
Manager Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-6304
E-mail: nathalie.albrecht@centrotherm.de

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     centrotherm photovoltaics AG
             Johannes-Schmid-Str. 8
             D-89143 Blaubeuren
phone:       +49 (0) 7344 91880
mail:     info@centrotherm.de
WWW:      http://www.centrotherm.de
sector:      Energy
ISIN:        DE000A0JMMN2
indexes:     Prime All Share, GEX, ÖkoDAX
stockmarkets: free trade: Berlin, München, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart,
             regulated dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt 
language:   English
 



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