Three years after acquiring Solel Solar Systems in Beit Shemesh, which produces thermo-solar energy systems, Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; DAX: SIE) is firing about 140 of the company's 430 employees. In contrast to six months ago when 100 employees were fired, mainly production staff, the latest round of layoffs includes engineering and development personnel, following the company's decision to close down several major projects. The company's decision to implement the layoffs was first reported by "Globes" three weeks ago.
Since acquiring Solar for $418 million in 2009, Siemens Solar Thermal Energy Ltd. has lost €600 million. The company has not hidden its intention of selling the plant and has said that talks are already underway.
Three weeks ago Siemens announced that it was halting solar energy activities worldwide. One of the repercussions of this move is the halting of its joint bid with Shikun u'Binui Holdings Ltd. (TASE: SKBN) for the tender to set up the Ashelim thermo-solar energy power station in the Negev.
Siemens based its decision to buy Solel for a higher than expected amount on optimistic forecasts for the solar energy market. However, since then the US market has undergone a regulatory upheaval, and the Spanish market, considered to have the most potential in terms of growth in this sector, has fallen below expectations.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 14, 2012
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