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Solar panel maker Abound to auction off assets

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Abound Solar Inc., the bankrupt solar-panel maker that had hoped to hire up to 1,200 people in Indiana by the end of next year, will have its assets sold at auctions this month and in October under authority granted last week by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Colorado-based Abound filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in early July and a trustee was appointed. The company listed assets of $136.1 million and debt totaling $82 million.

Abound's ambitious plan to open major solar panel plants in Colorado and Indiana was undone by stiff competition from companies in China, where the government spent more than $30 billion in 2010 to subsidize its solar industry, according to U.S. energy officials.

The company had hoped to use the massive, unused Getrag transmission plant in Tipton, north of Indianapolis, for a plant with 900 to 1,200 employees. But the plant never opened and the Colorado operations barely got off the ground.

Abound borrowed about $70 million from a $400 million loan guarantee provided by the U.S. Energy Department. The last draw on the loan was in August 2011, about the time Solyndra LLC halted manufacturing in advance of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. A spokesman for the Energy Department previously said the government expects a loss of $40 million to $60 million on the loan guarantee.

The assets of the company will be auctioned by a joint venture between Great American Group LLC and Branford Group. They will receive expense reimbursement up to $156,000 plus a fee of 60 percent of the so-called buyer’s premium. If the assets are sold in bulk rather than piecemeal, the fee will be 5 percent of the gross sale price.

The 781,000-square-foot plant in Tipton where Abound had hoped to open its Indiana plant has gone back on the market at a steep discount.








 

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