UPDATE 1-SolarWorld in 'constructive' talks with creditors

Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:40am EDT

Related Topics

* SolarWorld says debt talks 'constructive'

* Annual March 21 press conference delayed

* Restructuring expert Hans-Gerd Jauch hired

* Shares up 1.3 pct, erasing earlier losses (Recasts with company statement, adds share reaction)

DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) - Debt-laden SolarWorld said it was in "constructive" talks with creditors on a restructuring plan after delaying the date for its annual press conference.

An announcement will be made when a debt plan for Germany's largest solar group has been approved, SolarWorld said in a statement on Tuesday. At the end of September 2012, the company had long-term debt of 1.03 billion euros ($1.34 billion).

"If we don't have an agreement with banks by then, an annual press conference doesn't make any sense," Chief Executive Frank Asbeck said after an earlier Reuters report on the delayed meeting.

SolarWorld is suffering from a crisis caused by overcapacity of cells and modules, falling government subsidies for solar power and cheaper Asian rivals, causing it to warn bondholders in January of a debt restructuring.

Shares in SolarWorld were up 1.3 percent at 1.1850 euros at 1455 GMT.

SolarWorld has appointed restructuring expert Hans-Gerd Jauch as well as investment bank Houlihan Lokey to advise it during its current debt crisis.

Jauch, a partner at German law firm Goerg, is currently insolvency administrator for failed German retailer Arcandor and is considered an expert in Germany's updated insolvency law, under which companies can file for protection from creditors.

SolarWorld's news follows debt restructuring troubles at former German heavyweights Conergy and Q-Cells , which filed for insolvency last year after grappling with creditors for months.

Lavish power generation subsidies made Germany the world's largest market for solar power. Soaring costs led the government to slash so-called feed-in tariffs, designed to make solar power more competitive compared with conventional forms of energy production, such as burning coal and gas.

($1 = 0.7684 euros) (Reporting by Anneli Palmen and Alexander Huebner; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Noah Barkin and Paul Casciato)

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