June 5, 2012 / 2:01 PM / 5 years ago

Hanergy to acquire Q-Cells's Solibro unit

* No financial terms disclosed

* Hanergy will not shrink Solibro’s workforce-Q-Cells

FRANKFURT, June 5 (Reuters) - Chinese-based Hanergy Holding Group will acquire thin-film solar module maker Solibro, a subsidiary of insolvent German solar group Q-Cells, as Chinese cleantech groups tighten their grip on the industry outside their home market.

No financial terms were disclosed but Q-Cells on Tuesday said Hanergy, China’s largest privately-owned provider of renewable energy, would not reduce Solibro’s workforce of about 430, or change the unit’s leadership.

“This acquisition is not solely about consolidating our position on a global and competitive market. It is also about creating synergies between our two organizations in order to provide our respective customers with added value,” said Li Hejun, chairman of Hanergy.

Europe’s solar industry has come under heavy attack from Asian competitors, overcapacity and falling government subsidies for solar power, driving some players out of business, including German groups such as Solon and Q-Cells, which filed for insolvency in early April.

In January, Chinese solar group LDK Solar announced it would buy into German peer Sunways - it now holds 70.88 percent of Sunways’s share capital.

“With Hanergy as a partner, the potential of Solibro’s ... thin-film technology and existing production capacity can be fully realised,” Q-Cells Chief Executive Nedim Cen said.

“We are even more pleased that Hanergy intends to retain our current workforce in Thalheim.”

Q-Cells became the most prominent victim so far in the solar sector’s ongoing consolidation.

The group’s preliminary insolvency administrator said in late April that several parties were interested in the group. (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by David Cowell)

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