• Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman of the Board
  • Claus Recktenwald, Chairman

SolarWorld AG (own spelling: SolarWorld ) is an international solar power technology group. Central business areas are production and international sales in the area of ​​multi-crystalline solar -power technology. The manufacturing process includes all stages of the value - from the raw material silicon on solar wafers, solar cells and solar modules to turnkey solar power plants. The recycling of products is part of the production chain.

Worldwide, SolarWorld employs about 2,400 people. The company has eleven locations in eight countries. The largest manufacturing facilities are located in Freiberg, Saxony and in the U.S. Hillsboro, Oregon. With the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, the Group is the largest supplier of crystalline solar power technology in the U.S..

Also the storage of solar power and electric mobility are among the divisions. The company strives for its own value chain of the lithium extraction to the production of high-performance lithium - ion batteries.

  • 2.1 Board of Directors
  • 2.2 Supervisory
  • 2.3 locations


Frank Asbeck, now CEO of SolarWorld AG, founded in 1988 an engineering company for industrial plants in Bonn. In 1995, the trade of photovoltaic modules, inverters, components and kits and systems solutions was established. In 1998, the newly founded SolarWorld all business activities of the engineering company in the field of solar energy. The IPO of the Company then in November 1999. SolarWorld could, as the entire industry, are growing very quickly due to the promotion of solar power by the Renewable Energy Sources Act ( EEG). But SolarWorld also received direct subsidies through government funding, in Germany there were 2003 to 2011 of 130 million euros.

In 2000, launched on the German production site in Freiberg wafer production. A year later, the Solar Factory GmbH was founded in Freiberg. This began in 2003, the fully automated module production.

With the inauguration of the Deutsche Cell GmbH in the year 2002 in Freiberg, the first group's own cell production. 2004 SolarWorld was awarded Grand Prix of the middle class of the Oskar- Patzelt - Foundation as the winner in the competition.

The key for the expansion of its international business sales branches in the U.S. and Europe were expanded with the establishment of sales companies SolarWorld California Inc. / USA and SolarWorld Ibérica SL / Spain 2005. On the U.S. site in Hillsboro, Oregon, production was expanded in 2006 through the acquisition of solar silicon activities of the Shell Group. Buying a further production of solar wafer and cell production in 2007 had the production capacity to rise again.

In the U.S., a new, fully automated module production at the Hillsboro 2010 was inaugurated.

In the same year a new solar wafer production in Freiberg was put into operation and opened a research and development center.

Since 2010, SolarWorld is in the joint venture Qatar Solar Technologies QSC involved with headquarters in Qatar. In January 2011, the takeover of Solarparc AG, Bonn, by means of squeeze-out.

In March 2011, the company was awarded the exploration rights for lithium in the Erzgebirge. The raw material is required primarily for the manufacture of batteries for storing solar power.

In May 2011, the new fully automated module production plant Solar Factory III was put into operation in Freiberg.

Takeover bid for Opel

On 19 November 2008, the company announced its intention to acquire all four German Opel plants as well as the development center of the Adam Opel GmbH. A corresponding offer should be the American parent company, General Motors ( GM) submitted.

Core requirement for the submission of the offer was the complete separation of Opel from GM Group and a compensation payment of 40,000 euros per German workplace. The total compensation amount was thus according to the company at around one billion euros. For the assumption SolarWorld would for Opel cash of 250 million euros and bank lines of 750 million euros - subject to a federal guarantee - can provide. SolarWorld wanted Opel " develop first green European automotive group. " For Opel employed at this time at its headquarters in the Hessian town of Rüsselsheim and Bochum (North Rhine -Westphalia), Eisenach (Thuringia) and Kaiserslautern ( Rhineland -Palatinate ) is about 30,000.

Chance rated stockbroker this announcement as a PR stunt. SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck however, said his offer was quite serious. The U.S. auto giant General Motors to the Adam Opel GmbH is one, declined the offer. As a company spokeswoman told, Opel am not for sale. " We have not pursued further after the rejection of the offer ," quoted Mr. Asbeck told Reuters on 18 February 2009. Meanwhile were other rescue concepts for Opel ago, who investigated a conservative bill an additional capital investment to 3.3 billion euros.

Crisis of the company

After the company long made ​​high profits, it slipped during the crisis of the entire solar sector in 2011 very clearly in the red. Also the years rapidly rising sales since then declined sharply. Sales were down in 2012 from 1.05 billion euros a to 606 million euros. The operating loss increased and amounted to 492.4 million euros at year-end. The existing cash and cash equivalents decreased from 553.5 million euros to 224 million euros. On January 24, 2013, the company admitted in an ad- hoc report a serious financial problems. Reasons for increasing economic problems are an increasingly tough price competition and long- term purchase commitments for silicon, which were increasingly uneconomical because of falling silicon prices. 2012 also saw an unplanned reduction in EEG support for a significant drop in demand.

In the following years there were negotiations with the creditors of the company, but for the time being remained inconclusive. On April 17, 2013 SolarWorld announced that the separate financial statements of SolarWorld AG in accordance with HGB equity had fallen to a negative value. In such a case, the Board must in accordance with § 15a in conjunction with § 19 Section 2 of the Insolvency Act to make an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings within three weeks unless " the continuation of the company is more likely in the circumstances ".

End of April 2013 it was announced that the long-term liabilities of the company are to be reduced by 60 percent through a far-reaching debt relief. After a capital cut by 95 percent every 150 existing shares should be exchanged for one new share and the previous creditors are the main owners of the company as part of a subsequent capital increase. Against these capital measures, there were some complaints, so that the implementation was delayed until January 2014. The share of the former main shareholder Frank Asbeck would fall to about one percent as a result of corporate actions by 28 percent. However, he wants to increase his share back to 21 percent. New partner is Qatar Solar Technologies who wants 35 million euros to acquire around 29 per cent of the shares and in addition provide 50 million euro loan.

Since April 2013, the company signaled interest in the acquisition of Bosch Solar Energy, headquartered in Arnstadt. The contract was signed on 26 November 2013.

Shareholders were informed in July 2013 on a first extraordinary general meeting on the situation of the company and should decide on a further extraordinary general meeting on the proposed corporate action. In August 2013 bondholders have approved the rescue plan for the company by a large majority. On February 24, 2014, the financial restructuring was completed.

According to the published only in January 2014 audited consolidated financial report for 2012, the equity of the Group as a whole was consumed at 31 December 2012.


SolarWorld AG is in accordance with the provisions of the German Stock Corporation Act of three organs: the General Meeting, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board. The leading function of the Board is monitored by the Supervisory Board, the General Meeting has a function be adopted.

In the operating units of the company's managers and directors of the individual subsidiaries for the strategic direction and operational implementation are responsible.

Board of Directors

The Board of SolarWorld AG manages Frank Asbeck as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since 1999 In addition, the Executive Board consists of: . Philipp Koecke of Finance ( CFO) since 2003, Frank Henn for sales ( CSO) since 2004 and Colette Rückert-Hennen for information technology, brand and staff ( Chief Information, Fire & personnel Officer ) since 2011.


The members of the Supervisory Board since 1998 unchanged Claus Recktenwald (Chairman), George Gansen ( Vice Chairman ) and Alexander von Bossel. They received for the year 2011 together total supervision fees in the amount of 320,000 euros.


The main production facilities of the Group are located in Freiberg, and Hillsboro / USA. The sales of the company has offices in Germany, USA, France, Spain, Singapore and South Africa world. The corporate headquarters and distribution center of SolarWorld AG are located in Bonn.


The shares were first listed on 8 November 1999 in the Open Market in Dusseldorf, and subsequently at other German stock exchanges. After some initial interest from investors, the stock experienced its first decline in 2001-2003, but then increased to November 2007 to almost 48 euros. Due to the global financial crisis starting in 2007 and the crisis of the company itself, the price fell over the following years and until December 23, 2013 to a historic low of 0.37 euros. This in turn has led to speculation: on December 20, the number of traded shares in XETRA reached a total of nearly 2 million pieces.

In June 2003, SolarWorld AG was admitted to the Prime Standard of the German stock exchange. At the same time the picture is taken of the shares in the international ethical and environmental Nature Stock Index ( NAI). From December 2004 to March 2013, the stock was listed on the TecDax. In August 2006, SolarWorld AG has been included in the stock index for renewable energies ( RENIXX ) and on 4 June 2007 in the ÖkoDAX. In addition, the share from the beginning has been listed 30 index in photovoltaic Global.

The free float was to cut in capital in 2013 at 71 %. Main shareholder was Franz Asbeck at around 28 %, its share fell to mid- January 2014 to below 20% after as part of capital measures 150 old shares were exchanged for one new share, the stock price was in January 2014 at about 30 euros.


The share capital of the company was valued on 1 January 2005 with 5,775,000 euros. In subsequent years, it was subsequently increased on capital, which partly simultaneously bonus shares were issued to provide incentives for exchange trading. With effect from 28 June 2007, the capital was increased to 111,720,000 euros.

After the group had long made ​​a profit and had an equity ratio of more than 30%, from 2011 continued a downward trend a:

With the completion of financial restructuring (particularly partial debt forgiveness by creditor ) on February 24, 2014, the equity has increased significantly.


Since its formation, SolarWorld has positioned itself as a sustainable working company. The reporting of the Group follows the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative ( GRI). Since 2007, published SolarWorld an integrated report, ie sustainability reporting is part of the Group's financial statements. SolarWorld achieved since the highest application level of the GRI: A . In 2008 the company received the German Sustainability Award.

The first purely solar company SolarWorld 2009 signed the ten principles of the UN Global Compact (UNGC ). Thus, the company, certain social and economic aspects, such as the protection against discrimination and the promotion of environmentally friendly measures, to include at a global level in the company management.


In summer 2009, SolarWorld AG launched an advertising campaign with soccer star Lukas Podolski. By produced by star director Sönke Wortmann TV commercials and poster campaigns, the Group has increased its visibility significantly in Germany. Since 2010 a campaign with Larry Hagman ran ( known from the TV series Dallas ), who explains in the commercials its transition from oil to solar energy. Since April 2012, another commercial for SolarWorld under the slogan is We boost to see your gross solar product. Performers are known from the German cult series linden street TV star Bill Mockridge and the actress and cabaret artist Margie Kinsky.