Solyndra Filing for Bankruptcy
(Solyndra bankruptcy story updated for financial details from Solyndra filings)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. solar company Solyndra, which once had dreams of a big IPO, is headed into bankruptcy.
1,100 employees of the Fremont, Calif.-based company are being laid off.
Reports began surfacing on Wednesday morning as employees of the company located in the U.S. and Europe began talking about showing up to work to find the doors locked, and shortly after noon on Wednesday, Solyndra made its demise official.
"Despite strong growth in the first half of 2011 and traction in North America with a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops, Solyndra could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers," the company said in a statement.Solyndra plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Solyndra, which earlier this year scaled back its manufacturing facilities and laid off a portion of its workforce, said in its Wednesday statement that it will seek to license or sell its technology as part of the bankruptcy process. Selling or licensing a thin film solar technology that proved unable to compete on a cost basis in a rapidly commoditized solar marketplace could be a difficult task, analysts say. Solyndra has been both a symbol of the promise and peril of alternative energy in its nascent stage of development. The company not only received the backing of high-profile venture capitalists, but has been a favorite of the Obama administration and Department of Energy loan funding. Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee through the Department of Energy's 1705 loan guarantee program in September 2009, which was the first such loan guarantee provided by the federal government. Solyndra has been prominently featured in the argument from the government that green energy creates jobs. President Obama even appeared for a photo op on the floor of a Solyndra plant. The Obama administration has faced criticism from the press, and from the right, over the relationship between the president and political boosters involved in the alternative energy funding business. Steve Westly of Westly Group, is one example, a prominent California venture capitalist who had once predicted a successful IPO for Solyndra. A report from ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity published earlier this year that challenged the process through which Solyndra received its DOE loan, also cited the example of Oklahoma oil billionaire George Kaiser, an investor in Solyndra, who raised money for Obama.
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