AstroPower Faces Tough Choices

It would be an understatement to say that solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer AstroPower has weathered some difficult times lately. In the next chapter of the company’s tumultuous ride, an investment banking firm has been hired to determine the company’s future which may include selling some or all of the company’s assets.

Newark, Delaware – September 17, 2003 [] AstroPower has engaged SSG Capital Advisors, L.P., a nationally recognized specialty investment banking firm focusing on special situation mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, financial recapitalizations, and restructurings, as its investment bankers. SSG Capital Advisors has a proven record of assisting middle market businesses facing challenging situations. On July 25, 2003, AstroPower engaged Bridge Associates LLC, a nationally recognized restructuring, turnaround management and expanded capabilities firm, to take charge of the day-to-day operations of the company and to stabilize its financial position. Bridge Associates’ Carl H. Young III is serving as AstroPower’s interim Chief Executive Officer and Eric I. Glassman, CPA, is serving as the company’s interim Chief Financial Officer. After evaluating the totality of AstroPower’s overhead expenses, the new interim management focused on reducing those expenses throughout the company’s operations and, on August 6, 2003, reduced the workforce by approximately 10 percent through a layoff of approximately 55 employees. The company is continuing to take steps to “rightsize” the organization so as to better align it with its current operations. The company continues to operate and has orders for more product than it can produce due to cash constraints. The company continues to have negative cash flow due largely to lower sales than normal resulting from its inability to purchase sufficient raw materials as well as expenses related to the company’s current financial difficulties. The company has not yet filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2002 or its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the first and second quarters of 2003 due to the lack of audited financial statements for Fiscal Year Ending 2002. The company is unable to predict when the audit will be completed. After evaluating the company’s cash needs, interim management and AstroPower’s Board of Directors have decided to retain SSG Capital Advisors to help manage the process of raising cash by, but not limited to, an infusion of new equity, a strategic alliance or alliances, or a sale of part or all of the company’s business.
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