Local court admits application for protective shield proceedings of SiC Processing GmbH

DECEMBER 20 2012

The local court in Amberg has, upon application by SiC Processing GmbH on December 18, 2012, ordered debtor-in-possession proceedings in accordance with section 270b of the German Insolvency Code (Insolvenzordnung). The Court followed the proposal of the Company and appointed Dr Hubert Ampferl, partner of Nuremberg-based law firm Dr Beck & Partner, as preliminary supervisor (Sachwalter). Dr Ampferl has extensive experience of financial restructurings.
The management of SiC Processing GmbH, together with the international law firm Ashurst and the financial restructuring experts of the Frankfurt-based investment bank Freitag & Co, in cooperation with the preliminary supervisor now aim for a restructuring of the Company in self-administration / debtor-in-possession proceedings.
SiC Processing is the global market leader in the recycling of slurry from wafer sawing processes for the wafer industry, including logistic solutions. The Company has struggled increasingly with the continuous decline in prices and severe over-capacities in the solar sector. At the beginning of December 2012, the Norwegian subsidiary of SiC Processing GmbH filed for insolvency following the insolvency of its only customer. The Company still faces high payment arrears for several customers. In light of the coupon payment for its €82m bond, which is scheduled for March 1, 2013, the Company is threatened with inability to service its debt, pursuant to section 18 para. 2 of the German Insolvency Code.
Prior to the filing intensive restructuring efforts, such as moratoriums with individual creditors effective until the end of February 2013, were implemented and Peter Thysell was appointed as Managing Director and Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO). Peter Thysell is optimistic with regard to the protective shield proceedings: "The protection proceedings offer the necessary flexibility for a comprehensive and sustainable reorganization of the Company."
During the protective shield proceedings under self-administration SiC Processing GmbH remains fully able to operate. The operations continue unchanged such that customers will receive their products with the same reliability and high quality as to date. Accounts receivables resulting from orders going forward will be settled as usual. Salaries accruing within the next three months will be covered by the Federal Employment Office.
SiC Processing GmbH's management will now have up to three months to present a detailed restructuring plan to the court. This restructuring plan will then to be reviewed by the court and is to be approved by the creditors' assembly. Upon approval by the creditors' assembly, the protective shield proceedings would terminate and SiC Processing GmbH could continue its operative business as a fully restructured company.
The preliminary supervisor of SiC Processing GmbH, Dr Hubert Ampferl, also had a very positive response: "I expect that SiC Processing GmbH will use the potential of the protective shield proceedings, recently introduced into the German restructuring code, to achieve a successful restructuring for the benefit of its creditors, employees and customers."
N.B. The text in English is a courtesy translation from German only. In the event of any discrepancies between the two, the German original text shall prevail.
About SiC Processing GmbH:
SiC Processing GmbH is the leader for recycling of slurry from water sawing processes of PV and semiconductor industries. The SiC Processing group has established itself in a timeframe of only eleven years as global leader for the recycling of slurry. The production sites are located in Germany, China and the US. In Italy, SiC Processing runs a sales agency, while the site in Norway was shut down mid of 2012 following bankruptcy of the Norwegian customer. To date, the group employs 705 employees. Beside the majority shareholder Nordic Capital Fund VII, the founder family has a shareholding of 25 per cent in the Company. You can find more information at www.sic-processing.com.
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Markus Kreuzer
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