First Solar to pay US$350 million to settle 2012 class action case
- ‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member, First Solar has agreed to settle a 2012 class action lawsuit to the tune of US$350 million. The settlement is subject to approval by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.
The case, titled Smilovits v. First Solar, Inc., et al related to claims of false and misleading statements regarding the company’s financial performance and prospects, after announcing a major restructuring plan, including two manufacturing plant closures in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and idling four production lines in Kulim, Malaysia in April 2012.
The class action lawsuit sought damages, including interest, and an award of reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees, while the company had stated it believed it had “meritorious defences” and would vigorously defend the action.
“We are confident that resolving this matter is the right business decision for First Solar and its shareholders,” said Mark Widmar, Chief Executive Officer of First Solar. “While we are confident in the facts and the merits of our position, we believe it is prudent to end this protracted and uncertain class action litigation process, and focus on driving the business forward. We remain in a strong financial position, are pleased with our progress with Series 6 and our contracted customer pipeline, and are focused on executing our global strategy and serving our customers.”
First Solar said it would incorporate the US$350 million settlement within its fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.