Wed 09/29/2021 13:19 PM
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Fimer, an Italian manufacturer of solar inverters and solutions for electric mobility, is in preliminary talks with some investment funds and industry players for the potential provision of new money, sources told Reorg.

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Negotiations are at an early stage and sources told Reorg the company may need at least €50 million of new money to support its industrial plan and working capital needs.

Several investors have been monitoring Fimer because of its product range and growth potential, but it’s financial situation is deteriorating and will likely need addressing.

On March 13, 2020, Fimer completed the acquisition of the solar inverter business of the Swiss-based energy and technology company ABB, which helped to strengthen its position in Latin America, Japan and the U.S. After the purchase, Fimer became the fourth-largest solar inverter manufacturer in the world, according to industry publication Solar Power World. ABB’s solar inverter business had revenue of about $340 million in 2019, employs 800 people in 26 countries and has two manufacturing plants, in Italy and in India, and an R&D facility in Finland.

According to its latest available 2019 report, Fimer saw its net loss widen to €9.5 million in 2019 from a loss of €7.2 million in 2018. The group’s EBITDA (margine operativo lordo) swung to negative €2.2 million in 2019 versus €283,000 a year earlier, while revenue increased 25.8% to €302.9 million in 2019 compared with €240.8 million in 2018. Production costs for 2019 increased by 21.5% to €315.2 million.

Fimer’s total debt, most of which is owed to suppliers, was €73.6 million in 2019 versus €102 million a year earlier. The group reported a cash outflow of €8.9 million in 2019 compared with an inflow of €9.1 million in 2018. Liquidity amounted to €522,000 at the end of 2019 from €38,000 one year earlier. According to sources, the company has continued to burn cash also over its most recent quarters.

The group’s volume of orders in 2019 was €259 million, of which 14% was in the Italian market and the remainder in international.

On April 13, 2017, Italy’s export credit agency SACE together with Deutsche Bank supported Fimer with a €9 million initiative for the production of orders to sustain two solar farms in Mexico. Fimer received the SACE guarantee on two performance bonds worth $4.3 million issued by Deutsche Bank, which also issued a €5 million loan to finalize the supply contracts. The financing was aimed at allowing Fimer to consolidate its position in Latin American markets and continue to invest in research and development.

Founded in 1942 as a producer of welding machines, Fimer now specializes in solar inverters and mobility systems. It is present in 26 countries, and has more than 1,100 employees. Following the acquisition and integration of ABB’s solar inverter business, Fimer continues to carry the ABB brand under trademark license agreement.

-- Luca Rossi
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