UPDATE 1-South Korea's Hanwha may buy Q-Cells

Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:11pm IST

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* Q-Cells insolvency proceedings start next week

* Shares in solar cells company rise 8.5 percent (Adds details, background)

SEOUL/DUESSELDORF, June 29 (Reuters) - South Korean group Hanwha may buy insolvent German solar group Q-Cells, once the world's largest maker of solar cells, a spokesman for Hanwha Corp said on Friday.

The spokesman said he could neither confirm nor deny a Korean media report saying that subsidiary Hanwha Chemical Corp was conducting due diligence on Q-Cells.

The German company, which filed for insolvency in April, said that its administrator would continue to search for an investor. Its preliminary insolvency administrator had said that several parties had shown interest, including domestic and foreign investors.

Q-Cells, which employs about 2,300 people, became the most prominent victim so far in an industry shake-out that has already claimed some of its rivals in Germany and the United States, including Solon, Solar Millennium and Solyndra.

China's Hanergy Holding Group said this month that it would acquire Q-Cells' solar module operation Solibro, but it did note disclose any financial terms.

Shares in Q-Cells, whose insolvency proceedings are scheduled to start next week, were up 7.7 percent by 1336GMT, at 0.14 euro. (Reporting By Joyce Lee and Anneli Palmen; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Ron Popeski and David Goodman)

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