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14.06.2007 00:00

Q-Cells AG prepares itself for further strong growth

  • Annual General Meeting approves possibility of optional and/or convertible bonds
  • Main shareholder, Good Energies, provides Richard Kauffmann as a second member of the Supervisory Board
  • Gerhard Rauter becomes new COO
  • Commencement of wafer production


 

Thalheim/Berlin, June 14, 2007 – The Q-Cells AG Annual General Meeting today, Thursday, June 14, resolved all agenda points presented with an overwhelming majority. In addition to the complete earnings retention of the 2006 net income for strengthening the equity base and financing further growth, the shareholders approved the possible incorporation of optional and/or convertible bonds in the total nominal amount of up to EUR 3 billion. In doing so, the Q-Cells AG Annual General Meeting granted considerable scope for the acceptance of debt capital and established an important basis for the planned rapid corporate growth. Furthermore, the Annual General Meeting resolved a new share option program for all Q-Cells AG employees. Q-Cells AG was also authorised to purchase treasury shares of up to 10% of the share capital. Finally, the Annual General Meeting granted discharge to the members of the Executive Board and the Supervisory board for fiscal year 2006.  

Personnel changes 

The Annual General Meeting also elected a new member of the Supervisory Board. This election became necessary because the present Supervisory Board member, Immo Ströher, resigned from his office with effect from June 14, 2007. The present shareholders elected Richard Kauffmann as his successor. The 52 year old American is the CEO of Good Energies, Inc., headquartered in Zug, Switzerland. Thus the main shareholder, Good Energies, now provides two of the nine members of the Supervisory Board. Before Kauffman joined Good Energies in September 2006, he was a partner, Managing Director and Chairman of the Global Financing Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. 

In the course of preparation for further, extremely dynamic corporate growth as well as the increased internationalisation of Q-Cells AG activities, the company nominated new personnel. With effect from October 1, 2007, Gerhard Rauter is appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) on the Executive Board in charge of production. With the 49 year old Austrian, Q-Cells AG gained an experienced manager for this position who has been employed in managerial positions for more than 20 years at Siemens AG and Infineon Technologies AG, most recently as Vice President and Managing Director at Infineon Technologies Dresden GmbH & Co. OHG. In this role, he had overall responsibility for the Infineon site in Dresden. Gerhard Rauter will bring to QCells his extensive experience, in particular for further, rapid development of production capacities in all technologies brought forward by Q-Cells. 

The current COO Thomas Schmidt will focus on tasks in the core business. Thomas Schmidt has been the COO on the Q-Cells AG Executive Board since April 2004 and in this role was responsible for the development and optimization of production capacities which resulted in Q-Cells AG being ranked second amongst global solar cell manufacturers. Under his management, Q-Cells introduced many process improvements that have contributed to lowering production costs. 

Commencement of wafer production 

At the Annual General Meeting, Q-Cells AG also announced that it intends to enter into wafer production, i.e. production of the preliminary product of cell manufacture. The company sees it as a good solution for converting some of the silicon quantities supplied by the Norwegian company Elkem Solar from 2008 into wafers. In February this year, Q-Cells AG concluded an agreement with Elkem Solar for the supply of large quantities of metallurgical silicon. By commencing wafer production, Q-Cells expects to achieve a significant cost advantage and synergy effects between wafer and cell production. For 2009 the company plans to produce silicon wafers for its own cell production with a total output of more than 240 MWp.