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Why SunEdison Shares Dived More Than 30%

Spanish energy company Abengoa in 2007 built the first two solar power towers in the world to commercially generate electricity and deliver it to the power grid.Photograph by Cristina Quicler — AFP/Getty Images

While markets rallied Friday, solar energy giant SunEdison could not bask in the glow, with shares plunging 31% Friday, ending the day at $1.41 per share.

It was a 14-year low.

The stock had already shed 14% Thursday, after news broke that a South American company was suing the company.

New York Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos issued the restraining order preventing the company from selling some assets, about $150 million, until its hearing February 25. The order stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Latin America Power, a wind and hydro energy company that was poised to be acquired by SunEdison back in October, before the latter walked away from the deal.

As Fortune‘s Katie Fehrenbacher reported, Latin American investors claim that the solar energy company is nearing bankruptcy, but owes their company $150 million.


But the company’s troubles didn’t start with just this lawsuit. Last year, SunEdison along with its yield co, TerraForm, aggravated and confused its investors with a series of acquisitions across the world, including purchases in the U.K. and India.

The aggressive global expansion had bankers increasingly concerned over the company’s liquidity and growing debt — which reached $11.7 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2015. The company was later forced present an expensive plan to clean up its balance sheets.

It culminated in its attempt to acquire the $2 billion Vivint Solar through its yieldco TerraForm.

David Tepper, billionaire manager of the hedge fund Appaloosa Management, sued TerraForm in a bid to stop the acquisition. Tepper owns a 9.5% stake in the yieldco.

That hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16. Since markets are closed Friday, markets may have also reacted to the scheduling.

SunEdison is over 95% below its year-long high of $33.45 from last summer.