UBS Investment Bank to help Suntech with debt troubles


In a statement issued yesterday, new CEO, David King announced that UBS Investment Bank has been hired to help the Chinese photovoltaics manufacturer explore options regarding its convertible notes due next March.

According to Bloomberg, Suntech owes US$541 million in convertible notes which, it says, is triple the company’s market value of $164 million. In an interview with the news agency, Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc., stated, "I’d be interested to see the rabbit Suntech and UBS can pull out of their hat."

Aaron Chew, analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York, was further quoted as saying, "They don’t know how to pay off their debt."

In addition to taking UBS in an attempt to improve the company’s financial position, Suntech’s King unveiled four other measures aimed at returning to a "sustainable and profitable business model", including reducing its solar cell capacity, cutting production costs – it is targeting a module non-silicon cost structure of approximately $0.55/W – and streamlining its operating structure.