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SunEdison settles contract fight to help close US$150m sale

[NEW YORK] Bankrupt renewable energy company SunEdison Inc has reached a deal with a spinoff company that helps clear the way for a US$150 million sale of its solar materials business to a Chinese buyer, according to court papers filed on Tuesday.

Chinese solar equipment maker GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd agreed to buy the business in August, part of SunEdison's drive to shed assets to raise money to repay its creditors.

The sale ran into trouble due to an objection from SunEdison Semiconductor, which was spun off by SunEdison in 2014.

The spin-off company argued in an October court filing it had not consented to transfer of intellectual property licenses as part of the deal.

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SunEdison has resolved that objection to help close the sale and will extend a services agreement with its affiliate through September at reduced rates.

In addition, SunEdison Semiconductor gets an administrative expense claim of nearly US$2.7 million and a general unsecured claim non-priority claim of about US$16.5 million, compared with the US$40 million in unsecured claims it had asserted.

Once the fastest-growing US renewable energy company, SunEdison filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April after a binge of debt-fuelled acquisitions proved unsustainable.

A hearing at which the settlement could be approved will be held in US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Jan 24, two days ahead of SunEdison's target date for filing a Chapter 11 plan.