The chief executive of Finnish high-efficiency solar module maker Valoe Corp has told pv magazine the acquisition of a cell manufacturing facility from Lithuanian producer Solitek is not in doubt, despite his company this month again failing to honor the purchase price.
The nine-month financial update for 2019 issued by Valoe last month revealed the payment structure for the €3.5 million the Finnish company had originally agreed to pay Solitek parent Global BOD for the facility had been revised more than once. Having originally handed over just €300,000 for the factory in February, the latest payment arrangement – in early November – involved Valoe agreeing to pay €2 million of the monies owed plus a €500,000, 8% interest-bearing convertible bond which would mature in January.
With that arrangement signed off, Valoe had until the end of November to hand over €1.1 million but the company announced, on December 2, it had failed to pay the sum and was back in negotiations with Global BOD.
‘Vilnius is secured’
A crucial €3.5 million convertible bond issue which was originally set to be open for just 45 days was this morning extended for another three months – to March 15.
Valoe chief executive Iikka Savisalo had told pv magazine yesterday, the idea ownership of the Lithuanian facility was tied to the results of the latest fundraising exercise was wide of the mark. “There is no doubt of the ramp up of the Vilnius factory,” said Savisalo. He explained the facility would have an annual production capacity for high efficiency interdigitated back contact (IBC) cells of 60 MW or 120 MW, “depending on the financing available”.
Since early November, Valoe has exchanged €160,000 of convertible bonds issued to backer Winance Investment for shares in the company and has issued 500 notes connected to €500,000 worth of convertible notes to the investor, as it has drawn down portions of the remaining €1 million of a €1.5 million investment outlined in last month’s financial update.
Savisalo said the second aspect of his company’s twin strategy – expanding Valoe’s 20 MW module factory in Mikkeli, Finland to produce IBC modules from Vilnius cells and polymer structures for mobile applications, as well as the existing Chrystal module output – was not yet assured.
Finnish factory upgrade pending
“Final go-ahead of the Mikkeli factory upgrade has not been announced yet but Valoe hopes to make the announcement soon, to meet the IBC cell availability from Vilnius,” said the CEO.
Referring to the Vilnius facility, the chief executive said: “Lately Valoe secured a total of €7.1 million financing from its share issue to make the cell factory investment possible,” although it was not clear which shares issue was referred to, with a €7 million fundraising attempt opened in September generating only €3.45 million, according to last month’s financial update.
Savisalo said the results of the convertible bond issuance that was extended today, “or other sources” of funding, would be important to the company’s twin strategy and stated: “The preparation work at the [Vilnius] factory is in full speed and the first IBC cells are expected to be out during Q1, as stated earlier in the Valoe announcements.”
With Global BOD still awaiting final payment for its cell factory, the importance of those ‘other sources’ appears to have risen this morning.