Finance

Come rain or shine: Jobs go as major solar company collapses but continues to trade

Kirsten Robb /

A 25-year-old solar energy company has collapsed into voluntary administration, letting go a number of staff, but administrators say proposals on the table to recapitalise the business could offer the company a lifeline.

CBD Energy is the latest in a long string of solar companies to fold this year, with commentators labelling the industry a “roller coaster” market.

A second meeting of creditors will be held next week on December 19, with Grant Thornton Australia’s Trevor Mark Pogroske and Said Jahani acting as administrators, after being appointed on November 14.

Grant Thornton confirmed to SmartCompany the creditors will vote on the potential bidders at this meeting, giving CBD a strong opportunity to continue to operate.

An administrator’s report seen by SmartCompany indicates inadequate cash flow was the major reason for the collapse.

Administrators comments also pointed to issues of the ongoing trading losses of a number of subsidiaries, high overhead cost base that was not adjusted down as revenues declined, alleged misappropriation of funds by the former executive director, poor management structure and a lack of corporate governance principals.

CBD Energy’s related companies, KI Solar, CBD Solar Labs and Westinghouse Solar are also in administration.

The company, which was established in 1989, had previously expanded from its Sydney base to open offices in London and New York.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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