SolarWorld, Europe’s biggest producer of solar panels, has been rescued from bankruptcy by Qatar, sources suggest.
The insolvent firm has completed the sale of two of its German factories to a company financed by the Qatar Foundation, a non-profit development fund controlled by the desert state’s ruler and its government, according to information obtained by Handelsblatt.
Under the deal, which has drawn criticism from shareholders, workers and industry experts, the plants in Saxony and Thuringia will be taken over by SolarWorld Industries GmbH, owned by the Qatar Foundation and SolarWorld founder and former CEO Frank Asbeck. The Qataris owned a 29 percent stake in SolarWorld before its collapse, Mr. Asbeck held 21 percent.
“Frank Asbeck has the know-how, Qatar has the money,” said company sources.