Suntech steps up debt collection effort

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The can of worms Shunfeng Photovoltaic International opened when it purchased the main manufacturing unit of fallen solar giant Suntech last year was today evident in the latest investor relations update issued by what remains of the former world number one.

John Ayres, liquidator of the Suntech Power Holdings parent company that remains after the main Suntech Wuxi unit of the business was sold, today announced former Suntech subsidiary Suntech Singapore – transferred to the ownership of Shunfeng under the terms of the Wuxi acquisition – owes the rump company US$264 million after a ruling by the High Court of the Republic of Singapore.

The Suntech press release stated Power Solar System (PSS) – an immediate subsidiary of the Cayman Islands-registered and liquidated parent company – registered a claim for the money on January 15 and, with Suntech Singapore failing to respond in time, the court ruled against it by default decreeing, on January 27, Suntech Singapore hand over the money plus interest, calculated at 5.33%.

Investigation into aspects of Shunfeng acquisition

Potentially more worrying for Shunfeng is the claim by Ayres recovery efforts by the rump Suntech will now include an investigation of Shunfeng's purchase of Suntech Power Holdings' equity interest in Wuxi Suntech as well as into the reported transfer of the parent company's equity interest in Suntech Singapore and Suntech Power Japan to Shunfeng as part of the acquisition.

"We will take all steps as necessary to remedy improper actions which have caused loss to Suntech, PSS and their creditors," Mr David Walker, the joint provisional liquidator of the company, added, in the statement.

Details of the rigorous attempts to recover monies owed to Suntech Power Holdings and of probes into the Shunfeng-Wuxi Suntech acquisition shed light on last week's decision by U.S.-based holders of unpaid Suntech notes to abandon their attempt to force the liquidated parent company into involuntary bankruptcy in the U.S.

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