Hanwha to buy bankrupt Q-Cells

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Hanwha to buy bankrupt Q-Cells

Hanwha Chemical, a major domestic chemicals maker, said yesterday it has agreed to buy a German solar cell maker for around 55 billion won ($48.4 million) in cash and take over its debts of 300 billion won.

The takeover of Q-Cells, which filed for bankruptcy in April amid an industry-wide slump, will help Hanwha Chemical emerge as a leading player in the global solar cell and panel industry, the company said.

Under the deal, the Korean chemicals maker will take over Q-Cells’ subsidiary in Malaysia and its German research and production facilities.

The takeover deal is subject to approval by Hanwha Chemical’s board of directors and G-Cells’ creditors.

With the acquisition of Q-Cells, Hanwha Chemical will be able to produce 2.3 gigawatts of solar cells annually, up from the current production capacity of 1.3 gigawatts.

Set up in 1999, Q-Cells operates a number of subsidiaries in Germany, China and the United States, becoming the world’s largest maker of solar cells in 2008.

However, the company filed for bankruptcy in April amid a severe downturn in the solar power sector.

Hanwha’s push to acquire Q-Cells is in line with its ambition to emerge as a global leader in the solar-power sector. Hanwha Chemical acquired Solarfun Power Holdings, a Chinese solar cells and modules manufacturer, in August 2010.

The company has been building a polysilicon plant in Yeosu, 455 kilometers (283 miles) south of Seoul, spending 1.04 trillion won with the aim of completing the plant by next July. Polysilicon is used in solar panels and cells.

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