Conergy

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Conergy
Type Private
Industry Solar energy
Founded 1998 in Hamburg Germany
Founders Hans-Martin Rüter
Headquarters Kaufmannshaus Bleichenbrücke 10 D-20354 Hamburg, Germany
Key people Alexander Gorski (Global COO, CEO Europe)
Marc Lohoff (CEO Asia and Pacific)
Anthony Fotopoulos (CEO Americas)[1]
Services Solar asset investment, Project development, Engineering, Procurement and Construction, Operations and Maintenance
Revenue Not disclosed
Owners Kawa Capital Management
Employees 350
Website www.conergy.com

Conergy is a company in the solar energy industry providing project development, financing, EPC and O&M services with more than 750MW installed globally.[2] Conergy is one of the world's largest downstream solar companies. It was founded in 1998 by the former chairman of the board Hans-Martin Rüter and is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.[3]

In March 2005 Conergy was registered at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with the abbreviation “CGY“ and the ISIN DE 00060 40025.[4] Three months after its IPO, the company was added to the TecDAX index, in which it remained until March 2011. Until 2013, the Conergy group manufactured technology in Germany for solar wholesalers, installers, industrial or private roof-owners and investors in solar power as required.

On 5 July 2013, Conergy filed for preliminary insolvency at the District Court of Hamburg, one of a succession of German solar manufacturers that collapsed, under pressure from depressed prices due to oversupply by Chinese manufacturers.[5]

Later in July 2013, US private equity firm Kawa Capital Management announced it would buy the Conergy brand and some of the international sales and service units, without the manufacturing businesses.[6] By November 19, 2013, Kawa Capital Management had acquired the global service centre in Hamburg, and sales units in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. In February 2014, Conergy opened its first office in Japan.[7]

International Activities[edit]

Europe[edit]

In 2011, Conergy won the race to build the UK’s first large solar plant with a 5MW solar farm at Hawton, Nottinghamshire.[8] By summer 2014, Conergy had become one of the top five biggest companies for the engineering, procurement and construction of solar plants in the UK.[9]

In June 2014 Conergy announced two projects with RWE, the European utility’s first large solar plant in the UK,[10] and a solar leasing partnership for businesses.[11]

Asia[edit]

In May 2014, Conergy completed the first large solar plant in the Philippines[12] and in September 2014, Conergy Australia announced it would build the world’s first heart-shaped solar farm on the Pacific island of New Caledonia.[13] In Australia, the company has built solar rooftops for a factory owned by Mars Incorporated as well as for a call centre run by the Government of Queensland.[14]

Americas[edit]

In January 2014, Conergy announced plans to move into asset investment by establishing a tax equity fund with an initial target volume of US$100 million in order to expand its US and Canada project business.[15]

In October 2014, the distribution groups in the US and Canada were sold by Conergy. The sale highlighted the company’s focus on project development, finance, EPC and O&M.

Conergy won the tender for the 2MW SunMine project in Kimberley, British Columbia which will see an operational coal mine partially converted into a solar power plant.[16]

History[edit]

Early phase (to 2005)[edit]

Since its foundation some 15 years ago, the company has grown from consisting of only Hans-Martin Rüter to a company present in most German cities and in Spain. It has four daughter companies that operate in the same field as the holding company: SunTechnics (founded in 1996), Conergy, AET and Voltwerk (later Epuron).

The daughter company of the same name produced, procured and distributed the products. Engineering arm SunTechnics provided revenue via project management. AET, an acquired entity functioned similarly to Conergy, with a slight difference in target market. Conergy was catering for individual customers while AET was designed to take care of distributors.

With this configuration, Conergy generated a revenue of over 1 billion euros in sales in 2005.

Strategy 50/50/08[edit]

In 2006 the company expanded into different renewable energy technologies, and formulated what it called the 50/50/08 strategy to diversify the company's attention into all renewable energy fields, with 50% of revenues from fields unrelated to solar energy, and 50% revenue from outside Germany by 2008, growing organically and via acquisition.

Before 2006 the company had around 1,500 employees; by the end of 2006, some 6 months after initiation of 50/50/08, it had approximately 2,300 employees. By mid-2007, the number reached close to 3,000. Many employees were either new or from acquired companies.

During this period, Conergy also broke ground on a high-volume PV module manufacturing plant in Frankfurt-on-Oder on the German-Polish border.

By the third quarter of 2007, cash flow became a problem. In addition, acquired companies were not fully merged in, hence revenues were not coming in. By the time for the stockholders meeting, none of the objectives of the 50/50/08 strategy had been achieved, and the company was unable to procure products for projects that were supposed to be bringing in revenue. The old management team, including Hans-Martin Ruter, stepped down and Dieter Ammer, a member of the supervisory board of Conergy, agreed to a term as interim Managing Director/CEO.

Liquidity shortfall at the end of 2007 forced the company to increase the amount of shares released to the public by around 2,000,000 shares. This raised around 70 million euros, and a further 30 million euros was acquired from banks.[17]

To address the inefficiency of the company at this point, it was decided that the company would now focus on its original core-competencies. Almost all of the previously acquired companies were either sold off, or shut down. Furthermore, an estimated 1,000 employees were laid off. In addition, the former brand strategy which was considered too complex and diluting of the global brand strength was changed and a focus at the core brand was introduced as the new strategy.

Further layoffs continued in 2009 as Conergy effectively closed its New Mexico operations in early August 2009, laying off most of its staff in the state in order to consolidate its US distribution. Its operations headquarters moved to Denver, Co. The goal of this reorganization was to reduce operating costs and organizational complexity, gain access to a more highly skilled, more diversified labor market, and respond to US market trends in the renewable energy industry. During this time, the company also closed a high cost warehouse in New Mexico and ended distribution of solar thermal, small wind systems and solar water pumping. The company completed the sale of its own solar-powered surface water pumps that had been produced by the US company since the mid-eighties in the US prior to its acquisition by Conergy.

LG[edit]

LG Electronics Inc. announced a preliminary deal to form a joint venture with Conergy, its first in the field of solar energy. Under the deal, set to be completed by the end of 2008, LG would acquire a 75% stake in Conergy's Frankfurt solar-panel plant.[18] However, due to the worldwide financial crisis and changes in strategic direction, LG cancelled the acquisition. [19]

MEMC silicon supply contract[edit]

MEMC Electronic Materials (MEMC), a supplier of silicon to the semi-conductor and PV industry, had entered into a contract with Conergy in 2006 to supply silicon for Conergy's new module manufacturing plant. Due to the global silicon shortage, MEMC was able to negotiate very favorable terms that Conergy's management team felt obligated to accept. When the downturn in silicon prices occurred in 2008/2009 and the new Conergy management team attempted to renegotiate a more favorable terms, MEMC was initially unwilling and Conergy brought suit. In late 2009, an agreement was reached that improved terms for Conergy and was expected to have positive effects throughout the PV supply chain as other manufacturers also seek to renegotiate unfavorable supply agreements in the new economic and supply conditions.[20]

Transition under Kawa Capital Management Ownership[edit]

In 2014 a $60m credit guarantee arranged by Deutsche Bank was secured to finance a 400MWp expansion of Conergy’s international projects business, which had trebled in size year-on-year.[21] Conergy bought insolvent Wirsol Solar UK[22] and the rights to 166MW of UK projects from developer Lumicity.[23]

In order to focus on the company’s downstream business, Conergy sold its distribution arms in the USA and Canada to Soligent[24] and HEV PV in October 2014.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://asia.conergy.com/about-us/who-we-are
  2. ^ http://www.conergy.com/about-conergy/solution-offering/
  3. ^ http://www.conergy.com/about-conergy/
  4. ^ http://deutsche-boerse.com/dbg/dispatch/en/listcontent/dbg_nav/press/10_Latest_Press_Releases/Content_Files/13_press/pm_news_conergy_ipo_170305.htm
  5. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-05/conergy-plans-insolvency-filing-as-investor-sought-for-rescue.html
  6. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-19/conergy-to-sell-main-brand-to-kawa-in-sales-unit-disposal.html
  7. ^ http://asia.conergy.com/about-us
  8. ^ http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2093947/conergy-wins-race-deliver-uks-5mw-solar-farm
  9. ^ http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/39291/lumicity-conergy-engaged-in-uk-solar-project-deal/
  10. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-23/rwe-invests-in-its-first-u-k-solar-park-conergy-to-build.html
  11. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/07/britain-solar-conergy-idUSL6N0PF2OJ20140707
  12. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-15/conergy-completes-biggest-solar-park-in-phillipines.html
  13. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/25/is-this-heart-shaped-solar-farm-the-worlds-most-beautiful-power-plant
  14. ^ http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/solar-ceo-building-heartshaped-pv-plant-calls-for-some-love-from-govt/story-fnihsps3-1227071609902
  15. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-19/conergy-to-sell-main-brand-to-kawa-in-sales-unit-disposal.html
  16. ^ https://kimberley.civicweb.net/document/14758/PRESS%20RELEASE%20-%20SunMine%20Ground%20breaking%20-%20July%207,%202014%202014.pdf?handle=883A2C9913354669BAD06CD3A918D9CF
  17. ^ http://www.conergy.de/en/DesktopDefault.aspx/tabid-242/310_read-8475/
  18. ^ http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/lg-plots-solar-partnership-with-conergy-1395.html
  19. ^ http://www.conergy.de/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-237/271_read-9596/
  20. ^ http://www.conergy.us/Desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-267/236_read-10885/
  21. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-07/conergy-gets-60-million-bank-guarantee-to-expand-solar-business.html
  22. ^ http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2325464/conergy-acquires-100mw-of-solar-farms-from-stricken-wirol
  23. ^ http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/news/conergy-buys-166mw-solar-portfolio/1028582
  24. ^ http://cleantechnica.com/2014/10/13/soligent-acquire-conergys-us-solar-distribution-division/
  25. ^ http://www.rechargenews.com/solar/1379350/Conergy-sells-Canadian-distribution

External links[edit]