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Business

South Korea's Hanwha buys insolvent German Q-Cells

Germany's insolvent Q-Cells solar company will be taken over by the South Korean conglomerate Hanwha. The group has promised to make huge investments and save jobs in an economically depressed region.

Q-Cells of Germany, the erstwhile global leader in its market, found a new owner on Wednesday, as a decisive creditors' meeting opted to put the fate of the insolvent company into the hands of South Korea's Hanwha Group.

Hanwha took the upper hand over the Spanish co-bidder, Isofoton, by promising larger investment and the safeguarding of jobs.

Hanwha and Q-Cell's insolvency administrator had already signed a takeover contract last weekend that involved pledges not to close a core facility in Bitterfeld, Germany, and another one in Malaysia. The deal reached also included the safeguarding of about three-quarters of the 1,550 jobs left in the company.

New ray of hope

According to media reports, Hanwha agreed to pay 40 billion euros ($50.18 billion) for the takeover, while also absorbing liabilities to the tune of 220 million euros from Q-Cells' Malaysian subsidiary.

Q-Cells filed for insolvency in April of this year after not being able to pay back a 200-million-euro loan, with liabilities from a 375-million-euro line of credit still coming up in 2014 and 2015.

The Bitterfeld-based Q-Cells has been among a handful of solar companies that have fallen victim to fierce competition from subsidized Chinese firms, which have frequently been accused of having price-dumping policies.

hg/mkg (Reuters, dpa)