Chinese green tech company Suntech Power Holdings (STP) , the former global leader in solar panel manufacturing, took the first steps towards liquidation on Nov 9, signaling that the once up-in-the-air solar panel industry is beginning to coalesce around a select few companies.
Hints that Suntech was doomed have been surfacing for some time. As far back as July 2012 Suntech claimed they were the victim of massive fraud involving a finaical guarantee they extended in 2010. In March 2013 the company announced that they would be defaulting on a $500 million USD bond as the company struggled to adapt to the changing green energy market. Rumors that rival Chinese solar panel manufacturer Shifeng would swoop in and buy out the company in October evaporated, leaving Suntech without any recourse but to liquidate.
To add insult to energy, later that month Suntech had several assets seized in Italy as a result of the company’s ongoing financial problems.
As Suntech rides off into the sunset, a few key American players have ascended to become the new stars of American green energy investment. First Solar Inc. (FSLR) , SunPower (SPWR) and upstart Solar City Corp (SCTY) have all posted significant gains this year, and look poised to become dominant forces in the nascent solar panel industry.
Suntech tanked in expectation of the liquidation, dropping 22.73 percent to $0.68 a share.
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