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Report: Solyndra Sold Assets Cheap to Entity with Close Ties to Investors

By Doug Powers  •  February 9, 2012 10:08 AM

**Written by Doug Powers


What’s a week without more suspicious Solyndra news? This should be enough to get us by until the inevitable almost weekly document dump that could come tomorrow.

From the Washington Times:

Fast running out of money, solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC last summer sold off nearly $60 million worth of inventory for less than $20 million in cash to a newly formed corporate entity closely tied to the company’s biggest investors, records show.

Backed by $535 million in federal loan guarantees but burning through the little cash it had left, Solyndra made its first sale in late July to a corporate entity that had been formed just a day earlier. Three more transactions followed over the next few weeks with the same buyer, Solyndra Solar II.
Todd Zywicki, bankruptcy professor at the George Mason University School of Law, said it’s not unusual for troubled companies to sell off assets to improve liquidity. But he said the inventory sales figure cited by Solyndra — $58.1 million in inventory for $17.5 million in cash — seems unusual.

“The test under the bankruptcy code is whether the sale was for reasonably equivalent value and selling inventory at such a huge discount raises real concerns,” he said. “If Solyndra Solar II is owned or controlled by any insiders or anything like that, then it becomes even more suspicious.”

No word on how much the whistling robots were re-sold for.

Would the aforementioned bankruptcy professor consider these to be “insiders”?

Solyndra Solar II was formed in Delaware by affiliates of Solyndra’s debtor in possession lender — investors Argonaut Private Equity and Madrone Capital Partners — as well as other debt holders, bankruptcy and government records show. Another special-purpose entity, Solyndra Solar LLC, was formed to purchase the company’s accounts receivable.

Argonaut is the investment arm of a foundation headed by billionaire Oklahoma businessman George Kaiser. Madrone Partners has ties to Wal-Mart’s Walton family.

The real test is to wait and see if Solyndra Solar II (Electric Boondoggleoo) sells that inventory for which they paid $17.5 million back to the government for ten times that amount so the Department of Energy can offer it to the next clean energy upstart taxpayers will be on the hook for and thus complete the “green jobs circle of life.”

Obviously glass tubes used in solar panels must have not been in demand during the resale process. Your tax dollars at work:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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