Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Solyndra LLC, the bankrupt solar- panel maker, set Oct. 25 as the deadline for potential buyers to bid on the company’s assets, including a factory financed partly with loan guarantees from the U.S. government.
Should it get multiple bids, the company will hold an auction Oct. 28, according to court papers filed Sept. 16 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
The company, based in Fremont, California, hired Imperial Capital LLC as its investment banker to find a buyer willing to reopen the factory, which shut down Aug. 1 after Solyndra fired almost all of its 1,200 workers, according to court filings.
“Imperial has commenced the marketing process for Solyndra’s business assets by contacting over 100 prospective buyers,” the company said in court papers.
Solyndra, whose $535 million federal loan guarantee was criticized by Republicans, filed bankruptcy Sept. 6 with a plan to either sell its eight-month-old factory within four weeks, or liquidate the specialized equipment used to manufacture its solar panels. The company said the additional time sought to seek the bids will allow Solyndra “to fully test the market” and maximize the possibility it will get the best value for its creditors.
Last week House Republicans used a hearing on Solyndra’s slide into bankruptcy to attack the Obama administration’s stimulus plans. Lawmakers have criticized the loan guarantee, saying the administration rushed the approval process.
Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, described his agency’s review of the risks associated with the loan guarantee as thorough at the House hearing on Sept. 14.
The company owed lenders $783.8 million, including $527.8 million to the U.S. government, and held assets valued at $859 million as of Jan. 1, according to court filings.
Solyndra said it failed because it couldn’t compete with foreign manufacturers funded by their governments. Those factories produced an oversupply of panels at low prices and offered buyers lengthy payment terms, it said.
The company makes cylindrical solar panels which are different from the flat panels that are standard in the industry.
The case is In re Solyndra LLC 11-12799, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
--With assistance from Jim Snyder in Washington. Editors: Joe Schneider, John Pickering
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