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Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR), a maker of electricity generating solar panels, filed bankruptcy with plans to sell itself at an auction in order to pay creditors owed $485.6 million. The company, based in Marlboro, Massachusetts, blamed the bankruptcy on increased competition from government-subsidized solar-panel makers in China and the failure of the U.S. to adopt clean-energy policies.

Evergreen listed assets of about $424.5 million and as many as 5,000 creditors in its Chapter 11 petition filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Companies that file Chapter 11 usually plan to cut debt, reorganize and continue operating.

The company will fire about 65 people in Europe and the U.S., including at its plant in Midland, Michigan, which will be closed. A factory in Wuhan, China, built with a $33 million investment by the local government, will remain open while the company negotiates with its Chinese investors.

Evergreen has about 133 employees.

The case is In re Evergreen Solar Inc. 11-12590, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington). (Bloomberg, 8/15/2011)