UPDATE 2-Abound Solar files to liquidate in bankruptcy
* Abound Solar had warned of bankruptcy
* Abound Solar received $70 mln from U.S. government
* Company had tried to find buyer
July 2 (Reuters) - Abound Solar filed for bankruptcy on Monday and will liquidate, becoming the latest U.S. solar panel company to fold despite government support.
Stiff competition from China and subsidy cuts in Europe have created a steep fall in panel prices, sending solar companies, including Solyndra LLC and Evergreen Solar Inc, into bankruptcy protection.
Abound Solar, which filed for a Chapter 7 liquidation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, had said last week that it planned to shut down and would lay off 125 employees.
The Loveland, Colorado-based maker of thin-film panels said it had taken about $70 million of a $400 million loan that had been guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The government, which guaranteed the seven-year loan in December 2010, froze payments in August 2011. The loan had been aimed at helping Abound increase manufacturing in Colorado and Indiana. Abound was also funded with $300 million in private investment, according to its website.
The DOE has been criticized by Republicans for a loan guarantee of more than $500 million to solar module maker Solyndra, which went bankrupt last year amid allegations the White House had pushed for the loans for political reasons. Continued...