Solar panel maker Q-Cells to file for bankruptcy

Q-Cells factory
Image caption Q-Cells last year celebrated 10 years since making its first solar cell

Q-Cells, once the world's biggest maker of solar panels, is filing for bankruptcy.

The German firm says it has abandoned an attempt to refinance its debts and will file for insolvency on Tuesday.

Like other solar panel makers, Q-Cells has been hit by falling prices and last year the firm lost 846m euros ($1.1bn; £702m).

The company started in 2001 with 19 staff and now employs more than 2,000 workers.

Several other German makers of solar equipment have failed recently including Solon, Solar Millennium and Solarhybrid.

The industry has been hit by the government's decision this year to cut subsidies for solar power production.

Under the system, German power companies were obliged to buy solar power from producers at a fixed price.

The government is cutting that rate by up to 30%.

Q-Cells had been trying to organise a deal to swap debt for shares in the company.

But it said that a court ruling last week, which blocked a similar restructuring plan at German wood processing company Pfleiderer, convinced it that it could not go ahead with its rescue plan.

"Against the background of the final ruling of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court in the Pfleiderer case on March 27, 2012, the company had come to the conclusion that no going concern prognosis is given anymore," Q-cells said in a statement.

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