The creditors of Q-Cells SE recently approved by a large majority the sale of the business operations to South Korean conglomerate Hanwha. Insolvency administrator Henning Schorisch had signed the contract. As part of a “transferred restructuring process”, Hanwha Group takes over 1,250 employees out of a total headcount of roughly 1,550 as well as most parts of the total Q-Cells Group: in Germany, this pertains to the site in Bitterfeld-Wolfen with solar cell and solar module research, development and production as well as the administration site in Berlin; abroad, to the production site in Malaysia with an unchanged number of about 500 employees as well as some international sales companies. The integration will mainly lead to job cuts in Q-Cells’ administration division, as there is considerable overlap with the organisational structure of the Hanwha Group.The purchase price is composed of the takeover of operational liabilities in the lower triple-digit millions as well as a cash component in the mid double-digit millions, while the cash component depends on the volume of additional liabilities that will have to be taken over. The purchase agreement is still subject to the approval of the relevant anti-trust authorities. The transaction is managed by Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance GmbH as the exclusive M&A consultant for both, the insolvency administrator and the company. Q-Cells SE had filed for insolvency on 3 April 2012. In the months prior to this date, the legal basis for the planned financial restructuring fell away due to a decision made by the Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court, Frankfurt/Main).Through the takeover of Q-Cells, Hanwha plans to expand its position as one of the leading players in the photovoltaic industry. Hanwha is one of the largest South Korean corporations with sales of USD 31.6bn in 2011. The company operates in various sectors, such as the chemical industry, insurances, banking, engineering, pharmaceuticals and construction. With its Chinese subsidiary Hanwha SolarOne, for example, the group is already active in the field of photovoltaics.
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