Shunfeng wins bid to buy Suntech Wuxi; reveals state of production plants

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Shunfeng Photovoltaic International has successfully acquired the PV manufacturing operations of Suntech Wuxi with administrator approval for around US$490 million. Suntech Wuxi had debts of more than US$2.3 billion.

In a statement issued at the weekend, Shunfeng said the payment would be made to the Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court within a month and would also pay Wuxi Guolian Development Group, which had been a bidder for Suntech Wuxi US$25 million within three months, as part of the deal.

The solar wafer company expects to raise the capital for the acquisition via internal resources and debt finance from unidentified financial institutions.

The deal will also need to be approved by Shunfeng’s shareholders at a general meeting to be held in the first quarter of 2014.

Suntech Wuxi manufacturing update

As Suntech Power Holdings last provided full financial reports in April, 2012 with its 2011 annual report, little if any insight has been provided by the company about its Wuxi manufacturing operations,

In the full year 2012, preliminary results indicated that Suntech had shipped approximately 1.8GW of PV modules, with revenue said to be around US$1.62 billion, a year-over-year decline of 48%.

Shunfeng noted in the acquisition statement that one of the three Suntech Wuxi production plants for solar cells had ceased production at some time due to being obsolete.

A second manufacturing plant with a nameplate capacity of 1.6GW had production suspended in August, 2012. However, the plant could resume production but would have an effective nameplate capacity of 1.2GW.

The third plant was said to be operating with two production lines providing a nameplate capacity of 2.4GW. However, one production line with an annual nameplate capacity of 1GW had been temporarily suspended since November 2012, while the second production line with a nameplate capacity of 1.4GW was currently in operation.

Shunfeng did not say what the actual production figures were for the 1.4GW line that was actually in production.

The acquisition of Suntech Wuxi by Shunfeng is designed to enable the company to expand into solar cell and module production so that it can move downstream and build PV power plants primarily in the booming China market.

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