STR Holdings to lose First Solar as a customer, undergoing restructuring

STR Holdings has supplied encapsulants to First Solar for years, as its primary customer
STR Holdings has supplied encapsulants to First Solar for years, as its primary customer

STR Holdings (Enfield, Connecticut, US) has announced that it believes that First Solar Inc. (Tempe, Arizona, US) will terminate the two companies' business relationship, likely in the first quarter of 2013.

STR Holdings notes that First Solar is the company's largest customer, with 2012 sales of roughly USD 39 million. STR Holdings is currently preparing a restructuring plan and expects to reduce its workforce, including ending manufacturing at its facility in the US state of Connecticut by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

“We have enjoyed a very long and prosperous relationship with First Solar," stated STR Holdings President and CEO Robert Yorgensen. "Unfortunately, I cannot elaborate on their decision to work with another supplier at this time."

"On a more positive note, we have recently added three new customers in China, two of which have qualified and ordered our next-generation encapsulants. While this new work won’t make up for the loss of First Solar’s business in the short-term, we believe it represents very important progress toward increasing our share of the burgeoning Chinese market."


Restructring plan to be communicated later

The company plans to service its North American customer base from production facilities in Spain and Malaysia.

STR Holdings has undertaken a comprehensive review of its cost structure, and is assessing its long-lived assets for impairment. The company expects to incur sgnificant restructuring charges in 2013, and states that it will communicate its restructuring plan in greater detail at a later date.


UBS Investment Bank retained

Unrelated to the loss of First Solar as a customer, STR Holdings engaged UBS Investment Bank (London, UK) as its financial advisor in December 2012 to assist the company's board of directors with a review of strategic alternatives for STR Holdings.




2013-01-23 | Courtesy: STR Holdings; Image: First Solar | © Heindl Server GmbH

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