Thursday, September 15, 2011

Solyndra: Who Did What to Whom, When and Why?

Bruce Kasting at ZeoHedge takes a look at some odd last minute before bankruptcy transactions surrounding the firm, Solyndra, that has close ties to the Obama Administration. Here's Kasting:
On July 29, 2011 (just five-weeks before going bankrupt) Solyndra (“SOL”) entered into a transaction whereby it sold both the Accounts Receivables (IOUs from panels sold) and the Inventory (panels) of the company ("the A/R Transaction”). Solyndra Financial (“SOLF”) (a subsidiary of SOL) was the seller. The purchaser was a newly formed company called Solyndra Solar II LLC (“SSII”)... Note that the company was organized in the Sate of Delaware one-day before the sale of significant assets of SOL...

I have found no explanation/details for this transaction. It is clear that a purchase/sale took place. The question of how much was sold and at what price is not clear. It is also not clear what Argonaut Solar is doing in this deal. Argonaut is a name that [Obama money bundler and Solyndra founder] George Kaiser uses. His family investment vehicle channeled money to SOL through a company called Argonaut Ventures. Why would a company controlled by GK have a role as Agent between the buyer and seller of SOL’s assets? A question to ask is whether GK has (directly or indirectly) an interest (equity or debt) in SSII.

Again, both receivables and inventory were sold. A question is, “Was this a material transaction?” The court docs suggest there is real money involved...

Argonaut (GK) has separately offered to provide a post bankruptcy loan of $4mm ("DIP"). There are many terms required by Argonaut...Argonaut's (very good) lawyers make their position very clear...

 Argonaut is willing to make a new $4mm  loan, PROVIDED that the Judge releases (at least $3.86m) back to an entity that Argonaut is connected to (SSII). In addition, the Judge would be functionally sanctioning the A/R sale. The inventory (whatever it is worth) and the receivables (whatever they are worth) will be excluded from the Debtors Estate. That means that there is even less of a chance that Uncle Sam sees a penny of the money that he (we) are owed.

One additional point from [an] unnamed ex-employee:
It seems liked Solyndra was racing to spend all the federal money right up till the end.
There are many possible explanations for the July 29 A/R sale. This could have been an arms-length transaction that was a last ditch effort to save SOL. This could also be something a bit more malodorous. I don’t know.

This is a unique bankruptcy. A significant amount of public money has been lost in a startup company [$500 million plus]. While the details of the A/R deal may be kept confidential, the question marks that this transaction raises will not go away.

Don't read this and conclude that I’m suggesting wrongdoing on anyone’s part. That’s not the case. What I’m looking for is some clarity and opaqueness. I think the country deserves that. 


  1. Ha! I figgered you'd be on this like a hen on a junebug! (God, I'm spending too much time in TN...) and actually emailed this to you about 30 minutes after you posted it!

    This is gonna be fun to watch them squirm...

  2. What did the $500M buy them? Most of that money went to the Democrat Terrorist Organization(DTO) Re-election Fund.

  3. @anon 4:15
    It sounds to me like SOL rushed through $500m building solar panels less efficiently than the Chinese could do it, then sold those panels (and the A/R for already-sold panels), then went bankrupt to shed all it's liabilities.

    Now Argonot has a shiny new contract to purchase all those assets which also stiffs the government for the amount of the loan.

    It's Government Motors 2.0, only thins time the bondholder is the government.

  4. This sounds very similar to what Enron did with their Raptor shell corporations, but of course they were big time rent-seekers of gov't privilege/crony capitalists, not true free enterprisers!