Global Solar slashes staff amid sale talks

2012-12-13T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T12:32:45Z Global Solar slashes staff amid sale talksDavid Wichner Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tucson-based Global Solar Energy Inc. has cut its local workforce by about 70 percent in a cost-cutting move as it continues to seek a buyer or investors.

As recently as 2011, the company employed more than 100 people at its photovoltaics plant on South Rita Road.

The company said the layoffs and other cost-cutting measures come as it "continues to progress the previously announced sale process and evaluate strategic options."

The company announced in June that it had begun a process of seeking new investors, including a possible outright sale of the company. In July, the company notified the state Department of Economic Security that it intended to lay off 39 workers.

It is unclear how many workers remain with the company. Global Solar officials have ignored repeated requests for information in recent weeks.

The job cuts, which Global said were "to preserve operational and production flexibility," mainly affected employees dedicated to the company's roofing-product line, the company said in a news release. Key technical staff and management have been retained, along with a production staff focused on select customer orders, the company said.

"We continue to work toward a solution which will preserve Global Solar's industry-leading CIGS technology and production capabilities," Global Solar CEO Jeffrey Britt said in prepared remarks. Britt said the company has had "a very strong level of investor interest."

The company, founded in 1996, is a pioneer in thin-film photovoltaics made from Copper Indium Gallium DiSelenide (CIGS) material. It has incorporated the technology into portable power devices, flexible rooftop panels for commercial buildings and roofing shingles.

Contact Assistant Business Editor David Wichner at dwichner@azstarnet.com or 573-4181.

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