Germany's solar sell-off: picking up the remaining pieces
* Germany a hunting ground for foreign solar investors
* Demand stoked by wave of insolvencies
* Analysts see larger conglomerates as driving force
* Solar market set to pick up globally
By Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT, March 6 (Reuters) - Foreign investors are looking to snap up what is left of Germany's once-booming solar industry, in time to benefit from an expected global recovery in the sector.
During the last decade, Germany pioneered the solar industry by throwing billions of euros in subsidies at it, making it the world's largest market for solar panels in the process.
But a massive shakeout during the last three years, triggered by plunging state support for solar energy, led to a wave of insolvency filings and turned Germany into a hunting ground for foreign investors looking to buy assets - from solar panel factories to retail operations - on the cheap.
A diverse group of parties, including small boutique outfits and large industrial conglomerates, has emerged, and analysts believe they will remain in the chase for Germany's insolvent solar groups, lured by engineering expertise and strong brands as well as an expanding market. Continued...