Germany has been ordered to claim back State aid granted to Sovello AG (formerly EverQ GmbH) following a European Commission investigation which found that the company did not qualify for the support under the State aid rules. The Commission originally approved the payment to the German solar panel manufacturer in 2006, on the basis that it qualified for aid as a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). However, in 2008 it opened an investigation after receiving new information which suggested that the decision to qualify Sovello as an SME had been incorrect. The inquiry found that the company’s corporate structure had been manipulated to meet the criteria for SME qualification by making it appear that one of its three shareholders held less than 25% of the shares in the joint venture, when its actual influence was considerably higher. Upon a recalculation of the shareholding, Sovello was found not to meet the threshold to qualify as an SME and therefore did not qualify for State aid. The Commission duly revoked its 2006 decision, asking Germany to recover the funding.