Reuters

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Solyndra, Creditors Find Common Ground on Sale Plan

Energy Reuters

Solyndra LLC, the bankrupt solar panel maker that is at the center of a growing political storm, has found some common ground with creditors that should take some potential sting out of a bankruptcy court hearing Tuesday.

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The company said in court filings it resolved some creditor objections to its plan to auction its shuttered manufacturing business.

Solyndra plans to sell its operations to repay its debts, although it has said the government may not get back its $535 million.

Members of Congress are investigating how Solyndra secured a government loan guarantee in 2009, while at the same time private investors had serious doubts about its technology.

On Friday, the company's chief executive, Brian Harrison, refused to answer questions from members of a Congressional panel zeroing in on the role political connections may have played in approving the loan guarantee.

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President Barack Obama visited the company's plant in Fremont, California last year and his administration has trumpeted solar and other clean energy technologies as a way to boost a stalled jobs market.

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The company said in court documents it was cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which raided Solyndra's headquarters just days after its Sept. 6 bankruptcy.

Solyndra is still likely to face some opposition at Tuesday's hearing, where it will ask a judge to approve its plans for an Oct. 28 auction and a $4 million loan to pay a skeletal staff until the business is sold.

Unsecured creditors, who may not collect anything on the $40 million they are owed, want the company to slow the sale process, which they called a ``high-speed train wreck.''

They believe the extra time would ensure bidders do not undervalue the business and could also allow for a restructuring of the company that might see it emerge from Chapter 11 as an ongoing business.

The company's chief financial officer, W. G. Stover, told the bankruptcy court Sept. 7 the company had been in discussion in August for $75 million in capital. If the company had raised that money, Stover indicated Solyndra could have potentially moved its business to a positive cash flow and survived.

The case is Solyndra LLC, Case No. 11-12799, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware. (Reporting by Tom Hals; editing by Andre Grenon)

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