Suntech Gets Breathing Room To Make Payments

Solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co. has been given some breathing room to make note payments to certain bondholders after signing a forbearance agreement with them.

If Suntech is unable to make payments due on the convertible notes on March 15, the bondholders have agreed not to exercise their rights under the notes until May 15.

The Chinese company said Monday that the forbearance agreement will give it time to work with the bondholders to restructure the notes.

The solar industry has struggled in recent years due to a steep drop in solar panel prices. Global demand for panels languished in Europe and elsewhere, while at the same time manufacturing capacity soared.

Shares of Suntech fell 8 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $1.18 in morning trading. For the year to date, the stock is down 18 percent.

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