Residential and commercial solar installer the Mark Group has entered administration with the loss of up to 1,000 jobs after SunEdison sold the business back to its managers.
Yesterday afternoon (BST) SunEdison told a conference call of analysts that it was to “de-emphasize” the UK market, labelling it “uneconomic” for the company’s business model following government proposals to cut the feed-in tariff by up to 87%.
At the time the Mark Group – acquired by SunEdison just four months ago – told Solar Power Portal it could not comment on the situation, however a statement issued to Solar Power Portal yesterday evening by SunEdison revealed that current “draconian” government policy was the reason behind its UK exit.
“Based on the Government’s stated desire to ‘unleash the UK rooftop market’ and the programmes and support in place for solar, SunEdison believed that the UK offered long-term opportunities for solar energy.
“We acquired Mark Group in July 2015. With over four decades of experience in energy efficiency installations, Mark Group was a highly regarded company with a proven track record, but had suffered as a result of recent legislative changes in energy efficiency policy.
“SunEdison took on the challenge of turning the business around by leveraging the company’s installation experience in the solar PV market. We are extremely disappointed that the draconian policy proposals made by the Government in August will essentially eliminate the solar PV market in the UK and have made our plan unviable,” the statement read.
SunEdison confirmed that it had sold the Mark Group to its managers who, “in light of the elimination of the solar PV market”, had informed SunEdison that the business was to change its focus to the UK’s burgeoning energy efficiency market.
However yesterday evening the company’s managers put the business into administration and appointed Deloitte as its administrators. Up to 1,000 jobs could go at the company as it restructures.
Solar Power Portal understands that staff at the Mark Group had not been informed of the situation when SunEdison announced its decision to analysts during a conference call, and were instead told that their jobs were at risk later on in the day.
Chris Farrington, one of the company’s administrators, said that the company had “sustained heavy losses” as a result of “structural changes in its core markets”.
Meanwhile the company said in a statement that the “regrettable” decision had to be taken as a last resort.
“The turnaround plan, which was already underway, focused on solar PV but the Government’s recent policy announcements mean this is no longer viable.
"Mark Group’s management team recognise the talent and expertise within the business, which has been developed over four decades, and believe there is an opportunity to refocus the business on other energy saving technologies.
"Mark Group is now in the hands of administrators who are working to secure an urgent sale of the ongoing business. Prospective purchasers are encouraged to get in contact as soon as possible,” the statement read.
All residential and commercial solar customers of the Mark Group have had appointments cancelled and the company will be writing to its customers shortly, however it will continue to trade in new house build insulation for a short period of time.