Solar developer SunEdison seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) announced April 21 that it and certain of its domestic and international subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under chapter 11 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. 

SunEdison’s publicly-traded yieldcos, TerraForm Power (NASDAQ: TERP) and TerraForm Global (NASDAQ: GLBL), are not part of the filing.

“Our decision to initiate a court-supervised restructuring was a difficult but important step to address our immediate liquidity issues,” said Ahmad Chatila, SunEdison chief executive officer. “The court process will allow us to right-size our balance sheet and reduce our debt, providing the opportunity to support the business going forward while focusing on our core strengths. It also will facilitate our continued work towards transforming the Company into a more streamlined and efficient operator, shedding non-core assets as well as taking other steps to help us get the most value out of our technological and intellectual property. As a result of this process, we expect that SunEdison will be in an even better position over the long term to utilize our capabilities in the renewable energy sector in service of our customers, business partners, and employees.”

SunEdison has secured commitments for new capital totaling up to $300 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from a consortium of first and second lien lenders. Subject to court approval, these financial resources will be made available to the company to support its continuing business operations, minimize disruption to its worldwide projects and partnerships, and make necessary operational changes.

The new financing will support day-to-day operations during the reorganization, including:

  • Proceeding with work on ongoing projects, both in the U.S. and elsewhere;
  • Paying wages and benefits for employees;
  • Continuing to provide services to customers;
  • Paying vendors and suppliers in the ordinary course for goods and services provided on or after the date of the chapter 11 filing; and
  • Complying with all regulatory obligations.

SunEdison has made customary filings, including first day motions, with the court, which, if granted, will help ensure a smooth transition into chapter 11 without business disruption. The motions are expected to be addressed by the court promptly and include, among other things, a request for approval of the debtor-in-possession financing, as well as requests for authority to make wage and salary payments, continue various benefits for employees, honor certain customer programs, and other relief in order to continue the day-to-day operations of SunEdison.

SunEdison has hired Rothschild Inc. and McKinsey Recovery & Transformation Services U.S. LLC as advisors in connection with the restructuring. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as its legal advisor.

SunEdison develops, finances, installs, owns and operates renewable power plants. The company is one of the leading renewable energy asset managers and provides customers with asset management, operations and maintenance, monitoring and reporting services. Corporate headquarters are in the United States with additional offices around the world.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.