* No "turnkey" bids by Tuesday deadline-adviser
* Solyndra equipment, land may go on auction block
* Laid off staff fighting request to pay bonuses
WILMINGTON, Del., Jan 17 Solyndra LLC
failed to attract any bids on Tuesday from buyers who could have
restarted production, brought back some laid off staff and kept
the bankrupt solar panel maker operating, according to a company
Solyndra, which owes more than $500 million to the U.S.
government, has said a turnkey buyer is the best hope for
getting the most money for the government and other creditors.
However, no turnkey bids were submitted by a Tuesday deadline,
said company adviser Eric Carlson of Imperial Capital LLC.
Court documents suggest that auctioneers who have already
been retained will soon begin a piecemeal sale of the remaining
production equipment and real estate.
Solyndra collapsed into bankruptcy in September, unable to
compete with plummeting prices for solar panels. The company has
been an ongoing political headache for President Barack Obama,
who visited the company in 2010 to bolster his standing as a
creator of renewable energy jobs.
Republican lawmakers are investigating possible favoritism
in approving the government's $535 million loan to the company,
which counted among its investors George Kaiser, an Obama
A spokesman for Kaiser has said he did not discuss with the
government the loan to Solyndra.
Separately, laid-off staff of Solyndra are fighting the
company's request to pay unnamed employees $500,000 in bonuses.
Solyndra asked for bankruptcy court approval for the
payments earlier this month, saying the bonuses will ensure it
can retain the 21 staff to complete tax filings and the sale of
The bonus request has been opposed by the roughly 1,000
staff who were laid off in August, when the company abruptly
The laid-off workers argued that until Solyndra discloses
who is receiving the payments, the bonus request will appear
"only to be in the best interests of senior management, the
secured lenders and corporate insiders."
Solyndra's bankruptcy lawyer, Debra Grassgreen, did not
return a call for comment.
In making its request for the bonus payments, Solyndra
disclosed that seven of the 21 staff eligible for the bonus had
received a raise since the company filed for bankruptcy. In the
case of one unidentified senior director, the annual pay was
increased 24 percent to $206,499. This person would be eligible
for an added bonus of $50,000 once Solyndra's assets had been
While Solyndra never broke even, the company paid out large
bonuses in the months leading up to its bankruptcy, according to
For example, in April and again in July, numerous executives
received bonus payments of between $40,000 and $60,000,
according to court documents.
The bankruptcy case is In re Solyndra LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy
Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-12799