$300 million taxpayer investment in Solyndra sold for … $90.3 million

posted at 3:36 pm on August 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In 2009, the Obama administration approved a set of loan guarantees to Solyndra that totaled over $520 million, which supposedly would have created thousands of new jobs.  Most of that money, $300 million, went to build a new manufacturing plant for the solar panels that cost more to build than the market price they could fetch.  For some reason, the Department of Energy and the White House found this to be a solid business model.  Eventually, the company went bankrupt despite an effort by the Obama administration to bring new cash into Solyndra — by illegally subordinating taxpayer standing in event of a collapse.

The bankruptcy continued to unwind this week with the sale of the new facility.  The $300 million facility managed to go for 30 cents on the dollar:

Seagate Technology Plc (STX.O), maker of hard drives and storage devices, has agreed to pay $90.3 million for the former manufacturing plant and headquarters building of bankrupt Solyndra LLC, which was financed by a controversial government loan, according to bankruptcy court documents.

Seagate’s offer will be considered an initial bid, or “stalking horse,” which could be topped by a competing offer of at least $1 million more when an auction is held, according to court documents filed late Wednesday. A hearing to set the terms and date for the auction and declare Seagate’s offer the stalking horse has been set for September 24. …

Solyndra’s Fremont, California, building cost more than $300 million and was completed in 2010, according to prior court documents.

A lot of people lost real-estate equity in the collapse of the housing bubble, even in the commercial real-estate industry.  However, those were people who invested before 2008, during irrational and unrealistic property values. How did the DoE approve loans for a new commercial property at $300 million in 2009 for a property that can only sell at a 70% discount in 2012?

Bear in mind, too, that the receivers didn’t just dump this for the first party to show an interest.  According to Reuters, Seagate won a bidding war that included companies from the US, China, and Europe.  This was the best competitive price for the facility — only 30% of what the Obama administration gave Solyndra to build it in the first place.  Perhaps Congress should dig further into the construction process at Solyndra to see why a facility built with $300 million of taxpayer money only had $90 million of value, because at first blush, it looks like a lot of money went elsewhere than the facility.

The best news?  Taxpayers probably won’t see a dime of Seagate’s money for the facility.  When the Obama administration illegally subordinated taxpayers to newer investors like Obama bundler George Kaiser, taxpayers got put far back in line for repayment from Solyndra’s bankruptcy — far enough back not to get any reimbursement on the half-billion dollars Obama threw at Solyndra.  Obama’s current chief of staff Jack Lew played a central part in that decision:

They show that Energy Department officials argued that Solyndra might be able to pull out of its downward spiral if given an emergency infusion of cash.

They also show that career OMB staff members circulated a series of e-mails emphasizing the risks of restructuring the loan. In congressional testimony last year, the agency’s deputy director suggested that career staff members made the final determination about what to do and “used their best expertise.”

The House energy committee is expected to release the results of its 18-month investigation into Solyndra this week. Its report, parts of which were obtained by The Washington Post, suggests that then-OMB Director Jack Lew let the refinancing move forward without intervening, even though some OMB analysts thought a refinancing plan that favored private investors might violate the law. Lew is now White House chief of staff.

There will eventually be more to this story, when fresh eyes get a chance to investigate the malfeasance from top to bottom in the Solyndra scam.


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Now, that’s a return on your investment, America!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Now, wait until someone gets cancer who worked at Solyndra and dies…

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Sh!t…!!!

KOOLAID2 on August 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Who says that the Government can’t feel your pain!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Heckuva job, Barry!

aunursa on August 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Just wait till we control your healthcare!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

“You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt? The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.”
-Slow Joe Biden

CycloneCDB on August 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Stand up taxpayers….ohh, I’m sorry taxpayers, God bless you, well than bend over….Joe Biden

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

But, did you hear about Ann Romney’s horses?

Pork-Chop on August 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Among Barry’s numerous financial debacles, this may be the one with highest ROI.

bayview on August 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

This is a huge fu*%ing deal!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Look for the union label.

fixer44 on August 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Fundamentally transforming America, one bankrupt company at a time.

Don L on August 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Solyndra…now in suppository form. That’s right taxpayers…you know how to take it.

dont taze me bro on August 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Seagate’s offer will be considered an initial bid, or “stalking horse,” which could be topped by a competing offer of at least $1 million more when an auction is held, according to court documents filed late Wednesday

Who is Seagate, another one of Obama’s cronies?

JPeterman on August 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

its OK. we’ll make it up on volume. slow joe

kelley in virginia on August 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

If it weren’t for those stupid Republicans, the sale would’ve been for less!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

$300 million taxpayer investment in Solyndra sold for … $90.3 million

The $300 million facility managed to go for 30 cents on the dollar:

The best news? Taxpayers probably won’t see a dime of Seagate’s money for the facility.

So that’s really zero cents on the dollar for we taxpayers.

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I see a new TV commercial in the making…

Charlemagne on August 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

How did the DoE approve loans for a new commercial property at $300 million in 2009 for a property that can only sell at a 70% discount in 2012?

Because the rest of the money disappeared into the hands of Obama’s cronies. 3 years ago, that would’ve sounded like a crazy conspiracy theory, but I’m certain that’s exactly where it wound up.

Doughboy on August 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Perhaps Congress should dig further into the construction process at Solyndra to see why a facility built with $300 million of taxpayer money only had $90 million of value, because at first blush, it looks like a lot of money went elsewhere than the facility.

Maybe into Obama for America?

Who needs solar panels when we can have the Enlightened One?

Steve Z on August 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Among Barry’s numerous financial debacles, this may be the one with highest ROI.

bayview on August 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

C’mon now, his intentions were good. Right? That’s the standard after all.

Charlemagne on August 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Why, with a stroke of a pen, your President has made it possible to hire even more bankruptcy lawyers! And, more will be hired, after his re-election! That’s right, America, we’re putting people back to work!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The people responsible for this should be going to prison. Instead, they’re going to Obama fundraising dinners.

AZCoyote on August 24, 2012 at 3:48 PM

We’re making things happen, and moving forward! I’m gettin’ giddy, y’all!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Solyndra, now under new management!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I think Obama owes an explanation why no ones going to end up in jail over this. Or Fast & Furious. Or Black Panther Poll mercs, or MF Global,etc…

av8tr on August 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

In Oceania, losing money is making money!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Which dem bundler or union got the other $200 million?

faraway on August 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM

A solid B+ – for a corrupt retard.

Cody1991 on August 24, 2012 at 3:51 PM

When I was running a business, none of my 30 employees ever had a late paycheck. On the other hand, I wrestled with the thought of paying $600 for a nice office chair. I never did buy it.

To hell with Obama, Henry Chu (a Noble laureate!) and all those reckless DOE bastards.

Cicero43 on August 24, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Obama is always his brothers’ keeper, the degenerate Pimp in Chief.

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2012 at 3:51 PM

went to build a new manufacturing plant for the solar panels that cost more to build than the market price they could fetch. For some reason, the Department of Energy and the White House found this to be a solid business model.

They thought they could make up for it in volume.

rbj on August 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM

How did the DoE approve loans for a new commercial property at $300 million in 2009 for a property that can only sell at a 70% discount in 2012?

When you build manufacturing facilities, a big chunk of the “value” is the value of the plant’s output. If you have to scrap the facility for parts, you lose substantial value. (This is the difference between what appraisers and insolvency professionals call “market value” and “liquidation value”).

I suspect a big chunk of the $300 million dollars went to specialized machinery, robotics, etc., that has only limited resale value.

Outlander on August 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Solyndra didn’t build this. Heck, they didn’t build anything.

faraway on August 24, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I’m surprised no one has said it: Someone tell Obama that here’s where he’s supposed to point fingers at a business owner and say “you didn’t build that….”

You’re damned right. In this case, taxpayers, not an Obama crony, built that. And taxpayers are hemorrhaging as a result.

BuckeyeSam on August 24, 2012 at 3:54 PM

And thanks to Mike Huckabee and Todd Akin, we get four more years of corruption. Anyone think there will be any pieces left to pick up after Obama and Reid get finished with us?

Portia46 on August 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I think Obama owes an explanation why no ones going to end up in jail over this. Or Fast & Furious. Or Black Panther Poll mercs, or MF Global,etc…

av8tr on August 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Considering how well the DOJ has been operating under Holder, I doubt they could get a conviction even if they were actually interested in trying. I mean DOJ prosecutors caused a mistrial in the Roger Clemens case then failed to get a conviction in the retrial.

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Under the Republicans, Solyndra woulda done been makin’ chains for y’all! It had to go under, and we made sure it would! C’mon, y’all!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I thought Solyndra was Bush’s fault?

nazo311 on August 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

JPeterman on August 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Seagate actually makes some decent hard drives. At least they did back in ’006 when I was building computers.

Meric1837 on August 24, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Didn’t I read somewhere that most of the assets (equipment and such) were sold off for pennies on the dollar to a company formed by and owned by the very people who bankrupted solyndra in the first place?

Lost in Jersey on August 24, 2012 at 3:56 PM

“You didn’t built that!” warehouse

Oh wait…. we did…

shanimal on August 24, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Obama, the Jon Corzine of the public sector.

antipc on August 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

And thanks to Mike Huckabee and Todd Akin, we get four more years of corruption. Anyone think there will be any pieces left to pick up after Obama and Reid get finished with us?

Portia46 on August 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

You’re kinda quick to throw in the towel there, aren’t you?

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Without reading the article…Who’d they sell it to??

Another goverment funded Obama/Chu Green Miracle outfit loaded with Obama backers??

Did they make them buy some Chevy Volts as part of the deal??

BigWyo on August 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM

***

I suspect a big chunk of the $300 million dollars went to specialized machinery, robotics, etc., that has only limited resale value.

Outlander on August 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I suspect that you’re correct. The real question, then, is why taxpayers were called upon to underwrite this white elephant that was circling the drain as federal guarantees were being negotiated and then illegally modified?

BuckeyeSam on August 24, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Dollars in, pennies out!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 4:00 PM

OK, I still don’t get why taxpayers aren’t getting the proceeds from this. Yes, I understand that the administration illegally suborned taxpayer interest to the investors’ interests. That’s the problem, the administration made an illegal agreement that it could not make. In my industry, when such an agreement is made, the government collects its money in accordance with the law and sets aside the original illegal agreement. Why is this not being done in this case? Even if done from ignorance, the administration cannot execute agreements that violate the law and have those agreements stand.

AZfederalist on August 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Say, if this Solyndra clusterphuck is one of Obama’s vaunted “investments,” do we taxpayers have a cause of action (a lawsuit) against Obama administration officials for putting our money in unsuitable investments on analogy to putting CDs held by elderly investors into variable annuities that can’t be redeemed without substantial penaties for at least seven years?

Sic the plaintiffs’ attorneys lobby on them.

BuckeyeSam on August 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

OK, so we blew it. If you people were so smart, why are all of your house and car loans upside down!

- Stupid Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

(BiteMe & JugEars)…”I’m going to go over EVERY expense line by line…I’m going to look after EVERY dime!”….what happened?

KOOLAID2 on August 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

OK, I still don’t get why taxpayers aren’t getting the proceeds from this. Yes, I understand that the administration illegally suborned taxpayer interest to the investors’ interests. That’s the problem, the administration made an illegal agreement that it could not make. In my industry, when such an agreement is made, the government collects its money in accordance with the law and sets aside the original illegal agreement. Why is this not being done in this case? Even if done from ignorance, the administration cannot execute agreements that violate the law and have those agreements stand.

AZfederalist on August 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Too bad we don’t have a co-equal branch of government that could do something about this…..oh, wait…….

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I’m so confused.

I thought Republicans let the “casino” of Wall Street run and let the players keep their winnings while covering their losses.

If you make grants and loans with no liability for losses, what are you doing?

Entrepreneurial folks and inventors are the greatest asset this nation has. Really they are.

They bring so much in the door. But give anyone the keys to the vault or no accounting for their actions and you have a mess second only to the orgy of waste engaged in by our civil servants.

IlikedAUH2O on August 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM

“Yeah…

… but Ryan wear loose clothes!” – Free and Independent Press

Seven Percent Solution on August 24, 2012 at 4:08 PM

“Hi. We’re from the U.S. Government — and we’re here to help.”

 

*shudder*

FlatFoot on August 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Who is buying this and ARE the taxpayers funding them also? Good gosh, news like before supper isn’t nice! I am sooooo sick of bho and foto’s getting all the goodies and WE get the shaft!
L

letget on August 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Breaking:

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/245387-akin-to-hold-press-conference-this-afternoon

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) will hold a press conference somewhere in St. Louis County at 5:15 Eastern Standard time.

At first I thought he saw the light ( the oncoming freight train) and is announcing he is stepping aside aside. But, Nooooo….
He will announce he’s staying in the Missouri Senate race. Why does he need to call a press conference over this? We know he is a moron already.

bayview on August 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

OT: Todd Achin’ is holding a press conference in about an hour. Rumor has it he’s just reiterating his intention to stay in the race, but maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll finally see the light.

Doughboy on August 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

“When the Obama administration illegally subordinated taxpayers…”

“There is that word again.” – Pantload

Seven Percent Solution on August 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I would like to announce today, that we have successfully sold Solyndra, and we made a profit of $90.3 million dollars. At the time of the sale they had no debt. It was bought by an American company, and they will continue to operate and create green jobs, fulfilling my promise that green energy will drive this economy. They will be hiring several hundred employees, showing that investing in the right companies will continue to grow our economy….address by Barack Obama…

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Face it, Flounder, you fu%@ed up. You trusted us! Haven’t you people seen Animal House?

- Stupid “Otter” Joe

OhEssYouCowboys on August 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

When the Obama administration illegally subordinated taxpayers to newer investors like Obama bundler George Kaiser, taxpayers got put far back in line for repayment from Solyndra’s bankruptcy — far enough back not to get any reimbursement on the half-billion dollars Obama threw at Solyndra.

..Yes they do! Why is that, Captain Ron?

The War Planner on August 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Akin has lost 21 points in the poll, turned the Senate seat from likely-R to likely-D, put Obama ahead now, and is holding a “Thank-me very much” presser? He IS a psycho.

Marcus on August 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/billionaire-ty-warner-gives-woman-20-000-her-165731962.html

An act of kindness from one person to another, without the Government enforcing “justice”, and taking a cut for itself while the money is passing through.

bayview on August 24, 2012 at 4:20 PM

So, did the UAW move to the head of the line like they did with that whole GM thingy?

Khun Joe on August 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Back in the 1920′s the Harding Administration was involved in something called the teapot Dome Scandal…and high school history books for decades portrayed this as “the” premier event in government scandals reaching into the White House.

Ooooh, it was a really really bad thing students were/are taught, and when you look at it through the lens of 2012, seems to be a minor event, really.

Not to say it was OK for Harding’s cronies to make a bunch of money on the backs of taxpayers, but when you look at it today, and then look at Solyndra and a host of other “green” energy programs bought and paid for by taxpayers who had no say whatsoever in the taxpayer money handed out by Obama and his cronies…maybe it is time to re-write our high school history books to show the absolute corruption at all levels of the Obama Administration.

Pay to play, the rule of the day.

Donate to Team Obama and you can win big, who needs the Power Ball, when you can get a huge return for a few dollars handed over to the Boy King and his never ending campaign?

In normal times, when we had a real Justice Department, and federal prosecutors who actually did their job, heads would be rolling, all the way up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But, today?

Barely a whisper.

It’d be racist or something to try to bring all of those involved in Obama’s “green energy” Ponzi Scheme to justice.

And there are millions of Americans who will still vote for Obama in November?

Can they really be that stupid? Or are they essentially as corrupt as Team Obama and are looking to reap the benefits of Obama’s largesse should he be re-elected? Benefits paid for by working, taxpaying citizens who again have no say in who gets what from Team Obama, at our expense?

coldwarrior on August 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Wow. Just imagine if they’d sent Vice President Sunny Day over to Solyndra just a little bit sooner, maybe we would have gotten our money back after all.

Timing is everything. /s

dissent555 on August 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

So now we know when we get bupkis we have to pay at least $234 million? Bupkis is expensive.

oldroy on August 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

“Taxpayers get … bupkis.”

…but OBOZO’s crony capitalist pals walk way will MILLION (less the 10% kickback they must give to the OBOZO campaign.)

TeaPartyNation on August 24, 2012 at 4:32 PM

but OBOZO’s crony capitalist pals walk way will MILLION (less the 10% kickback they must give to the OBOZO campaign.)

TeaPartyNation on August 24, 2012 at 4:32 PM

It’s not a kickback, it’s a tithe.

oldroy on August 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Faith is indeed strong in the Church of Obama.

oldroy on August 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM

He will announce he’s staying in the Missouri Senate race. Why does he need to call a press conference over this? We know he is a moron already.

bayview on August 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Like that Kardashian person, he thinks all publicity is good. Maybe when he loses, he’ll get his own reality show. He can come on right after “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.

Portia46 on August 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

You’re kinda quick to throw in the towel there, aren’t you?

Bitter Clinger on August 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

No. Not at all. I’ll keep on fighting. I’ll send money; I’ll volunteer even in Blue State Maryland, but I’m not living in a fantasy land. We lose MO, our razor-thin chance of gaining control of the Senate is gone. This Todd I’m More Important than God Akin is an albatross that will confirm to the uninformed majority that Romney/Ryan will return us to the 1950′s. In razor-thin margin cases, the gullable matter.

Portia46 on August 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

God Bless Government Efficiency. By the way, this is my first(ish) post. love this place.

Raymer on August 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Who’s the sucker who paid 90.3 million?

MaiDee on August 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM

We need the breakdown of the 300M. It probably included equipment purchases and furniture and such. I think we read before about that specialty equipment being sold earlier–back to Solyndra investors,at a huge discount iirc. At any event commercial real estate folks should chime in on the valuation. They may be competing against a whole horde of empty space in a nasty region for business tax wise.

TexasDan on August 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Portia46 on August 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

“..the quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven..”

The War Planner on August 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I’m sure we got screwed, but this is not like a$300m spec office building they’re trying to turn.

Note also that a lot of banks are holding properties like this hoping for the market to rebound. I assume this sale is forced by the bankruptcy.

TexasDan on August 24, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Bear in mind, too, that the receivers didn’t just dump this for the first party to show an interest. According to Reuters, Seagate won a bidding war that included companies from the US, China, and Europe. This was the best competitive price for the facility — only 30% of what the Obama administration gave Solyndra to build it in the first place. Perhaps Congress should dig further into the construction process at Solyndra to see why a facility built with $300 million of taxpayer money only had $90 million of value, because at first blush, it looks like a lot of money went elsewhere than the facility.

I used to work for a US Bankruptcy Trustee and I think you are on the wrong track here. A Trustee/receiver is always going to want to have competitive bidding/auction on any property that is part of the bankruptcy to get the highest price possible if he can. However, the bidders are all aware that they just need to hit that magic number that the Trustee is willing to take given the cost of running the bankruptcy, etc — that price isn’t necessarily or even usually “fair market value” because it isn’t the same as a private sale. In fact, 30 cents on the dollar in a bankruptcy proceeding is pretty dang good.

Dark Star on August 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM

The Washington Post, suggests that then-OMB Director Jack Lew let the refinancing move forward without intervening, even though some OMB analysts thought a refinancing plan that favored private investors might violate the law.

Since when has Obama and Company worried about the law? At least NO ONE DIED, this time.

GarandFan on August 24, 2012 at 6:14 PM

That obstructionist congress and Bush’s fault

acyl72 on August 24, 2012 at 6:51 PM

coldwarrior on August 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

+100

tom daschle concerned on August 24, 2012 at 6:58 PM

it’s a huge story, but it reflects poorly on Bama, so the media will avoid it, and the majority of people will not be aware of the extent of financial corruption under his administration

harpman on August 24, 2012 at 7:51 PM

“So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra! So-LYYYYYYNNN-dra!”

MisterElephant on August 24, 2012 at 8:25 PM

They had a whole bunch of over paid union members working 24/7 to build the place. That is where the money went, lots of union overtime.

xplodeit on August 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

The odds are the new buyer is a part of the corruption that led to Solyndra bankruptcy in the first place. Just keeping it in the gang. Everything Obama does is corrupt to think otherwise is naive.

volsense on August 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM