Sunpower secures a $300 million bridge to pay off loan certificates


As a company that has been reporting heavy losses for years, SunPower was going to find itself in hot water sooner or later. And while SunPower has taken to selling off companies and assets as part of a major restructuring, its financial needs increased after the company burned through over $200 million in cash during the last quarter.

One of the company’s largest concerns was $300 million in convertible loan certificates which mature and are due on June 1. SunPower was down to only $261 million in cash by the end of Q1, and the company’s quarterly financial filing put the situation in stark terms.

“These events and conditions indicate the Company may not have the liquid funds necessary to repay the existing 0.75% debentures due 2018 at maturity and satisfy our estimated liquidity needs within the 12 months from the date of issuance of the consolidated financial statements contained herein,” reads the filing.

2/3 of this sum is owed to French oil giant Total, which is the majority owner of SunPower.

However, earlier this week a subsidiary of SunPower entered into a term credit agreement with Credit Agricole which should keep the company afloat in the short term. According to a filing with financial regulators the French bank has agreed to a term credit agreement up to $300 million, which is expected to be withdrawn and used to pay off the soon-to-be-due loan certificates.

SunPower alluded to this “bridge loan” in its Q1 results.

SunPower’s finances are harder to read over the longer term. The company is expected to net $380 million in cash from the sale of 8point3, as well as $200 million from the sale of leases. However, it is unclear how much of this will go to pay for SolarWorld Americas’ Oregon factory, which SunPower agreed to buy earlier this year.

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