More on Solyndra – The next move

Bruce Krasting's picture
In any Chapter 11 filing the senior lenders have preference. This means that if there are any liquidation proceeds Senior Creditors get their money back first. It is important to note that those same senior lenders have significant influence regarding how the company’s assets are disposed of.

In the case of Solyndra, the senior lender is also the largest equity owner, Argonaut Ventures, an investment vehicle controlled by George Kaiser. Argonaut got the preferential position when it agreed to make a $75mm term loan to Solyndra back in February of 2011.

Note: DOE representatives participated in the structuring of the Argonaut term loan. The DOE specifically granted the preferred position. Six months ago the good folks at the DOE had to have known that Solyndra was a sinking ship. If we later hear that either the DOE or the President were shocked and surprised that Solyndra went into the tank, then we know they are lying.

In the layer cake of creditors the highest tier is the DIP (Debtor in Possession). This loan is only granted after a chapter filing. It is approved by the court and as a result stands first in line. The DIP lender has significant sway in the timing and the manner of assets sales. Not surprisingly, the proposed provider of the DIP is Argonaut. (The deal calls for a 15% rate and an $80,000 front end fee. Not bad for a four-week loan)

This means that Argonaut is in control two ways, the senior loan and the DIP. They have both a belt and suspenders, they are wearing the pants in this deal and their pants are not going to fall down.

The Debtor has filed a plan with the court. The CFO, W.G. Stover Jr, has filed this petition. This document is the company’s plan for what should happen next.

Note: Solyndra is being advised in these matters by the cream of the crop, Gibson Dunn and Crucher. GDC is a very high dollar firm. They typically represent private money interests. I would have expected GDC to represent Argonaut. The fact that they are representing Solyndra is another question mark in this questionable deal.

The plan put forward is a four-week sale of the company. The logic behind this very rapid schedule is that Solyndra is still burning cash at the rate of $1mm a week. How long will the $4mm DIP financing last? Four weeks. The terms of the DIP makes it a sure thing that Solyndra is going to be sold ASAP. That sounds good. But not for the DOE.

The one-month period is a very short time frame. The likely result will be that no serious alternative buyer will appear. Should that happen, the senior creditor will get all of the assets of the company at the end of 30 days. That would be Argonaut. It's possible that Argonaut will end up owning a company that lists $850mm in assets for less than $100mm.

A bankruptcy attorney who is knowledgeable about the Solyndra case has contacted me. I thought I’d share his thoughts with you. His words describe the situation much better than I:

Two things that jump out at me from the Affidavit - the Tranche A lenders (Argonaut) are offering to be the DIP lender. The terms contained in the DIP agreement usually are the vehicle by which assets are stolen via seemingly innocuous terms that when taken as a whole, serve to control the bk process.

The secured lender will seek to bid for the assets via a credit bid, where they don't have to put new money on the table - their existing secured loan becomes their bid.

The second item that pops out is the dual track marketing - where they will market Solyndra as a whole and as pieces. The affidavit talks about a 4 week marketing runway - that's crazy short even for a podunk company with 1/10th the size. No one can do Due Diligence in 4 weeks. It leaves the DIP lender in a great spot.

The company will claim they don't have the cash to survive a longer marketing runway, and then they will throw their hands up 4 weeks later and say that the horrible deal on the table is the best and only option (and usually for good measure they throw in that it will preserve jobs, they always throw that in) - and at that point the shitty contrived deal is the only option.

Judge bangs his gavel down and the deal is done, and all legit, sanctioned by the bk process itself - everyone was given an opportunity to object in court, provided you can afford 700 dollar an hour bk attys.

Okay, after all of that you have to conclude that Argonaut stinks in this. They are sitting in the catbird seat with the preferential position. They have the courts (and the lawyers) on their side. What possible option could the US Government have to stop this from happening? That’s easy. All they have to do is accuse the existing management of fraud.

No BK judge would accept the petition of a former corporate officer regarding the disposition of company assets if that same officer was under the cloud of fraud charges. I think this must be the reason that both the company’s headquarters and senior officers homes (including the CFO) have been raided by the FBI.

There is a clue in the affidavit submitted to the court:

“In Early August, Solyndra, certain holders of Tranche A Debt, and representatives of the DOE undertook negotiations regarding further restructuring that would allow Solyndra to attract necessary new investment. The negotiations over the terms of the further restructuring continued throughout August 2011."

It's simply not possible for the folks at DOE who were part of these meeting to not have realized that Solyndra was headed for the garbage can. They had to be lawyers. They are not stupid. There had to have been memos and phone calls back to the DOE and ultimately with the President during August on the failing status of the company. If during that month they had any suspicions of wrongdoing or fraud by the company’s officers they would have alerted DOJ and the FBI raids would have happened before the company filed a bankruptcy petition. The business about raiding homes is just a smoke screen.

In the next week the Court will rule on the proposal for a four week sale and the $4mm Argonaut DIP. If that plan is approved, what is left of Solyndra will go to Argonaut and the US DOE will suffer a loss of 100% of its $528mm loan.

As part of this process DOE will file a brief. That brief has to be a smoking gun that forces the judge to deny the company’s/Argonauts plan. That brief HAS to have some teeth in it. The only teeth that has merit is that the people who ran the company were crooks and lied to the DOE. The problem with that contention is that there is so much evidence to the contrary.

It should be interesting to see what the DOE has to say. It will be very interesting to see how the judge rules. I’ll be watching/writing.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
chinawholesaler's picture

Entertainment Supplies
Wholesale Dartboard

Wholesale Dartboard
Wholesale Cup
Electrical Gifts

Wholesale Bracelet
Wholesale Radio
Wholesale Candle

Poncho Raincoat
Baby Products Suppliers
Promotional Products

Business Gift
Wholesale Cap
Voice Recorder

Business Gift
Wholesale Lanyard
Wholesale Toys

Wholesale Tellurion
Pen Holder
Wholesale Racks

Wholesale Furniture
Wholesale Clap Hands
Promotional Gifts

Beauty Equipment
Promotional Gifts
Wholesale Thermometer

Wholesale Bookmark
Wholesale Whistle
China Wholesale

Audio Video Equipment
Health Care Products
Wholesale Stapler

Wholesale Whistle
China Wholesale
Wholesale lable

Entertainment Supplies
Wholesale Belt
Coca Cola Gifts

Wholesale Mouse
Wholesale Album
Vocal Concert Products

Wholesale Shoe
Wholesale Clothes Rack
Silicone Wallet

Wholesale Bookmark

goodrich4bk's picture

It's great to see all the folks here ready to carry some water for our heavily subsidized oil and gas industry.  Bruce may think he's the leading edge of this story, but I frankly doubt that with Fox, Drudge, and the dozens of Haliburtons looking for any opportunity to kill green energy, that they need another intrepid reporter to make sure this story has legs.

Don't get me wrong,  The Solyndra story may well be yet another example of crony capitalism in a long line of such stories running through this nation's history.  All I'm saying is that the biggest money is lined up AGAINST decentralized energy production, not FOR it.  So there is no shortage of monied interests wanting desparately to prove that "green" is no better than "black". 

Also, will solar panels on my roof producing half my electricity for free in another nine years, I don't mind that this is one government boondoggle that has actually given me some direct benefit --- or at least more of a direct benefit than our military expenses gives me for keeping oil flowing out of the ME.

Printfaster's picture

This comment is completely clueless.

Kaiser, the force behind Solyndra is an oil and gas billionaire who has always sought out tools like Obama.  Kaiser gains because of the coal shutdown and because all the wonderful green energy needs gas electrical generation to backfill.  And the regulation against fracking also helps Kaiser making his billions worth more.

Then there is the billions loaned to PetroBras by the Obama adminstration to help out the big Soros investment. Not to mention the release of the deep water drilling rigs to Brazil and other places when the moratorium in the gulf went in.

Carrying water?  This comment is tank car of water.

RingToneDeaf's picture

I smew Wacism.

You peeple are keepin peeople of kolor down.

Can't we all just get along?


The check is in the mail.

gmrpeabody's picture

So, are you implying that some of the peeps in question are of color? And, that because of that, our DOJ and White House are more than likely wanting this whole mess done in the allotted four weeks, with the taxpayers losing, and the cheats winning? Am I hearing this in your remarks?

krispkritter's picture

Hoping this is another shot that Holder takes and then on to Barry. This was a good piece on what might be going on in that area, let's hope it pans out and Holder and Barry find themselves looking for jobs...

anonnn's picture

Teleprompter being prepped:

I am not a crook.

 Here, Bo. Tell 'em, Bo.

 Would I lie?

I am not a crook, And neither ie Eric.

Problem Is's picture

Nice Post Bruce... +5

Obama Bin Lyin' is up to his eyeballs in corruption with his fund raising (bribester) buddy George Kaiser...

"Let me raise you some funds, Barry and you give this startup I'm invested in an unvetted $535 million loan, friend..."

The Chicago corruption stink just doesn't come off of Barry Soetoro...

realitybiter's picture

I wonder if the entire financing was a ruse.


Kaiser realizes that he's screwed and knows that Solyndra is a possible huge hit to him financially....

Kaiser: "Yo, Barack, think you could invest some money into this dog, I mean, great green opportunity....then a little shift in subordination,

voila...Kaiser's ass is out of the fire.  his liability is now the taxpayers.  Geez, sounds an awful like the banker bailout.

Obama gets his $50,000 campaign contribution, taxpayers get boofooed $535 million.

ain't our system great.  Taxpayers are morons if they don't burn this one down.

goodrich4bk's picture

It's great to see all the folks here ready to carry some water for our heavily subsidized oil and gas industry.  Bruce may think he's the leading edge of this story, but I frankly doubt that with Fox, Drudge, and the dozens of Haliburtons looking for any opportunity to kill green energy, that they need another intrepid reporter to make sure this story has legs.

Don't get me wrong,  The Solyndra story may well be yet another example of crony capilism in a long line of such stories running through this nation's history.  All I'm saying is that the biggest money is lined up AGAINST decentralized energy production, not FOR it.  So there is no shortage of monied interests wanting desparately to prove that "green" is no better than "black". 

Also, will solar panels on my roof producing half my electricity for free in another nine years, I don't mind that this is one government boondoggle that has actually given me some direct benefit --- or at least more of a direct benefit than our military expenses gives me for keeping oil flowing out of the ME.

daxtonbrown's picture

[but I frankly doubt that with Fox, Drudge, and the dozens of Haliburtons looking for any opportunity to kill green energy, ]

No one is looking to kill green energy, it is such a loser that it is imploding on its own. And this is coming from someone who used to own $60k of Evergreen stock. The numbers and engineering just don't add up foor solar, you are beating a stinkng dead horse.

goodrich4bk's picture

You are dead wrong, my friend.  In California, solar is absolutely a winner, not a loser.  Panel prices are below $2 a watt, total installed cost about $6.  Non-subsidized rates are $.22/kwh.  Take a look at this chart and do the math:

My system will have paid for itself in 12 years and its all free electricity after that.  Life span is guaranteed 85% of new for 20 years and actual lifespan is now proving to be much greater (although at slowly diminshing efficiency).

And compare cents per mile costs of electric and ICE engines.  I've now fixed my cost of electricity at $.12 per kw no matter how much the Bernanke prints.  At that rate, my 35 mile round trip daily commute will be less than $.03 a mile vs. double that even with a 35 mph ICE.

As I said, the Solyndra boondoggle is just that, no different than the Bridge to Nowhere or the $40,000 toilets.  They are all morally repugnant and should stop.  But in the meantime, I am receiving a much greater benefit from solar than I am from subsidizing more oil consumption through our increasingly adventurous military.


SpeakerFTD's picture

Got it.  Fraud and theft is a-okay as long as it is being done by a "good" industry.

Feel free to post your detailed analysis of the fraud committed by Halliburton and the rest of the boogeymen you listed.   We will gladly get outraged.  But until you can match the facts in the story with your own narrative, how about you spare us the self-congratulatory deflections about your wonderful solar panels and join us on the side of rule of law.    This story stinks to high heaven, and I hope someone in the MSM picks it up, not because I care a whit about the future of the green energy, but because I care about rule of law. 

In any case, if the green energy industry is anything more than a subsidized mirage, it will have no problem surviving this story.  But if it is just a vehicle to transfer public funds into private hands, I hope it ends up in a grave right next to the soon-to-be-deceased banking industry.

gmrpeabody's picture

Wasn't it Algore that came up with this new green business plan?

Jumbotron's picture

How do you spell "Nothing Done" ?

E R I C      H O L D E R

In the immortal words of Stan Lee

"Nuff said" !

Problem Is's picture

Eric "Empty Suit" Holder

Has that douche-bag even started work yet???

New_Meat's picture

"The fact that they are representing Solyndra is another question mark in this questionable deal."

Well, then, they are representing an entity with "deeper pockets" who will also advantege them in future dealz.

Don't cha' know.

- Ned

rcintc's picture

Department of Energy - DOE - more like Homer Simpson....DOH!

knukles's picture

This is nothing short of Grand Theft Country.

Once again, the senior debt holders with the government's blessing get screwed for the benefit of the equity layer.

Just like with GM and Chrysler where the government screwed the senior debt holders to the benefit of a financially disinterested party... where the unions (read campaign contributor and vote pool) recieved equity in front of the bond holders.  Disinterested?  Financially yes... and as amatter of fact, whose pensions were already guaranteed by the PBGC.

All done at the behest of, blessed and implemented by, and without any mistake or error, by the people sworn to uphold the laws of the land.

Lawlessness. Pure claen and simple.
The Sheriff of Nottingham Incarnate.

Is there nobody left to trust? 

Ponzi Unit's picture

Exactly, knukles. What happened to a republic of laws? Standing on precedent? The law of contracts? As has been said here many times, ZH is for those who are paying attention, those who sense the bizarro distortions, the crazymaking contradictions, the pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain insults to one's intelligence, the growing sense of dread, the alarming feeling that all the rules are at the disposal of arbitrary power. Creeping totalitarianism. Drown the Ponzimongers in their infinity pools.

nah's picture

some people really want to try to save the world


for themselves

polizeros's picture

Solyndra's technology was based on silicon remaining cheap. It didn't. They also had innovative circular solar panels. But they were way more expensive to build, even if less to install. Then other companies moved it and did it cheaper.

I'm probably way further to the left than most here and support renewable energy. But Solyndra reeks.

This could be a major scandal for Obama (along with the gun-walking.) This was patronage, now the feds are trying to cover their tracks and blame others.

California has mandated 33% renewable energy by 2020. That means those building big solar and wind in deserts (with federal loan guarantees) will have completely captive buyers in 2020. Think about it.

Solyndra means the probable end to big loan guarantees.

Let's all keep digging.



Freddie's picture

I thought I read that the production people were all union and were Teamsters?  I know NASA had a lot of Teamsters at Cape Canaveral.  The Chinese are churning out solar panels at a loss. The Germans are heavily subsidized.  This company was never going to make any money.  Half a billion up in smoke.   Small well-run banks being taxed to save corrupt big banks. Unreal. The corruption is off the charts/

realitybiter's picture

you meant expensive, I presume.  I don't know a VC in the world that would  sink money with that premise.....unless of course, they could put all the risk on uncle sugar......

Earl of Chiswick's picture

sometimes left and right meet in the middle

your avatars eyes would be an example

Dugald's picture


Not quite correct...In recent months Silicone cost has dropped by 50%.....There has been much publicity regarding the expected fall in production cost..ergo cheaper panels.

StychoKiller's picture

Silicone != Silicon

One's for I.C.'s (integrated circuits, transistors, etc), the other's for breast implants (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Problem Is's picture

Hahahaha... I get it...

Silicone is for CNBC Anchor-ettes...

max2205's picture

BK. Stay on this because I think it a Whitewater type laundering money back to the obamerrama re election (or in his pocket) effort.

This stinks to the high heavens. Follow the money wires and checks

Hedgetard55's picture



     Don't be too surprised when a union thug or two shows up at your home or office to discuss these posts about Solyndra with you. Hope you are strapped.

tempo's picture

Who in the heck owns Argronut? Follow the money and the stink. Have the owners made large contribution to the DNC or Obama? Owners are likely bankers and wealthy elite families who own the Congress. It the same story. Who owns the online bull Sh_t colleges that take billions from the Govt in the from of student aid and provide nothing. Who owns the dayloan stores who now make billions in fees from those on social secuity and disability for short term fully secured loans? Its the same greedy elite families who own the congress and have the law written for their self serving purposes.

John_Coltrane's picture


Great article and investigative journalism.  This is why ZH is my first source for real news and you are rapidly becoming my favorite contributor.  Love the stuff you're doing on SS and this new topic.  We all appreciate your great contributions to this site.

I'm really waiting to hear what DOE does on this (I used to be a major contract researcher at a national lab funded by DOE and they are corrupt, ass-covering bastards to the core, so have very low expections which they'll likely meet)

onlooker's picture

Agian, Burce strikes back. appreciate it sir

Printfaster's picture

Bruce don't be fooled by the criminal investigation.

Scooping up all the evidence will keep all the details out of the news and keep Congress away, becuase they are "dealing with a criminal investigation".

Then after the 2012 elections, all the charges can be dropped (because of either Obama winning or the new president wanting to put this behind) and the money allocated to Solyndra has been dutifully donated by Kaiser to the Obama campaign committee.

Oh, and the UAW was part of the big sucking sound as they were paid 54 bucks an hour to solder pc boards.  Look for the union label after they took down NUMMI (GM / toyota) next door.  Time to recycle those membership dues into the Obama campaign committee.

Big business, big government and big unions, cooperating for a better future.  For them.

Freddie's picture


Sad but true.  The FBI rushed in to grab any evidence to cover it all up.

Did they have union thugs in there "working.: 

FinalCollapse's picture

Don't worry - Eric Holder is in charge. This guy has perfect, record - no one of importance will go to jail or will be charged. All investigations will dead end, for some strange reason. All the fat cat will walk away free, the contributions to the Obama campaign will roll in, and the cleaning lady will be charged and jailed.


sun tzu's picture

The union thugs were busy destroying private property, taking hostages, and threatening police officers with weapons in Washington state. No arrests or charges expected. 

Careless Whisper's picture

Wasn't this funded as part of the $1Trillion in newly printed stimulus money?  So, is this a one-off or the tip of the iceberg?


Joebloinvestor's picture

Great job!


This sounds like a test case for B of A.

Hephasteus's picture

Everybody relax. Lie Enforcement is on the job.

Libertarian777's picture

brilliant investigative journalism, this is what the MSM SHOULD be doing.

I await the DOE / Obama administration excuse. There is NO way in HELL they can escape this.

There is nothing else they can say. Either they knew or they didn't know.

If they claim they 'didn't know', then the charge is that they are INCOMPETANT and have no idea how to run a loan and should get out of the business of issuing loans. Even if they claim fraud, the question after SEC and Bernie Madoff is do you not scrutinise companies when you give them $500m in loans? I don't know any bank that just gives a $500m loan and says "pay me back when you can... don't need updates from you"

If they DID know, then the charge is that they are INCOMPETANT and a hiding facts from the public. This is PUBLIC money being used and its use should be accountable to the public.


Boba Fiat's picture

Agreed.  Have forwarded all of Bruce's posts on this topic to the Drudge Report.  MSM is slowly catching on.

Amish Hacker's picture

Great work, Bruce. It isn't often that we have such a clear-cut case to use as an indicator of where we stand in the End of Empire process. Within 30 days we'll know with certainty how deeply the corruption has spread, whether "our" government is working for Us or for Them. And we'll see if the donkey public, who didn't seem to notice trillions of dollars in private debt being dumped onto its back, can sense the removal of a few hundred million in assets.

Canucklehead's picture

Obama has taken a page from Warren Harding's playbook...

“I can deal with my enemies. It’s my goddam friends that have me walking the floor at night!” So Warren Harding supposedly told the famous journalist, William Allen White.

digalert's picture

The FBI is acting as "Molly Maid" for the regime in these raids. Grab everything in sight, stripping clean of any regime tarnishing evidence. If this story gets any more steam, as opposed to silent burial, then the marxist Obama and racist Holder will claim uninformed. In fact, Holder and Barama will claim the first they heard of Solyndra not until next week. The fleecing of America...

No Mas's picture

Ok.  I am a confirned cynic.

There may be a sacraficial lamb of some sort, low level banker/lawyer type,  But no one in this administration will suffer for this; no one.  That goes for "Fast and Furious" as well.

And by the way, you heard it here first.  BHO will win a second term.  People in this country simply don't give a damn about any of this stuff.  Oh, and the congress will be back in democrat hands within 2 election cycles.

And the world won't end by the way.  The US is on it's way to a socialist state and most of the voting population are quite content with that direction.

sun tzu's picture

Some of the ATF thugs in charge of Fast and Furious were promoted. The whistleblowers are being punished