United PV continues China acquisitions with joint purchase of 80MW

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As part of a targeted 500MW to 1,000MW of project acquisitions in China this year, United PV will purchase a substantial stake in 80MW of PV projects in the country’s Xinjiang Province.

United PV, which until the end of last year was known as Goldpoly, announced on Friday the acquisition of equity interest in four solar power plants, totalling 80MW, held by Changzhou Guangyu New Energy Company Limited.

Changzhou Guangyu itself is owned by China Merchants Zhangzhou Development Zone Trenda Solar Limited. United PV will buy the plants jointly with an investment fund management firm, Shenzhen China Merchants Yinke Investment Management Limited (CM Yinke).

The four power plants are grid-connected and located in Hami City and Turpan City. United PV will purchase a 51% stake in them while CM Yinke will own 49%. CM Yinke’s option to buy the 49% share kicks in three years and six months from the completion of the purchase. United PV said that it would fund the acquisition by issuing convertible bonds worth HK$529.2 million (US$68 million) to China Merchants Wealth Asset Management Limited (CM Wealth) through China Merchants Bank. The bond issue will also fund the cost of operation and capital expenses incurred by the 80MW of projects. The convertible bonds’ interest rate will by 7.5% per annum.

According to United PV, this deal highlights changes in the way China Merchants Bank does business in the sector, with the bank classifying solar power as a “moderate investment industry” and loosening the terms for lending for PV projects, in a recent internal report.

In a September announcement to disclose its financial results for the first half of 2014, United PV said it was targeting the acquisition of between 500MW and 1,000MW of PV projects in China throughout this year. United PV is also selling a majority share of its solar cell production business, exiting that side of the industry to concentrate on downstream acquisitions.   

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