JA Solar chief exec in takeover bid

Baofang Jin, chairman and chief executive officer of JA Solar has, together with the Jinglong Group Co., Ltd, of which Jin is the sole director, offered to buy out the solar PV module manufacturer. Jin currently owns around 15.6% of the Chinese company.

In a preliminary non-binding proposal letter, he has offered to pay $9.69 per American Depositary or $1.938 per ordinary share in cash, subject to certain conditions. Reuters reports that this totals around $489 million.

"This price represents a premium of approximately 20% to the Company’s closing price on June 4, 2015," Jin wrote. He added that he intends to finance the takeover through a combination of debt and equity capital.

Reuters wrote, however, that according to S&P Capital IQ analyst Angelo Zino, Jin had undervalued the company. "I think the offer price grossly undervalues the company given our views of growth prospects," Zino told the news outlet.

In a statement released, JA Solar has said it will form a special committee comprised of independent directors to consider Jin’s takeover bid.

On the back of the SEC filing on Friday, June 5, JA Solar’s shares increased 12%.

In recent weeks, JA Solar has made a number of expansion announcements, including a 400 MW deal with German PV equipment supplier, Schmid Group for several texturing and edge isolation tools, and automation equipment.

It also entered a partnership with Essel Infraprojects Limited to set up a 500 MW PV cell and module manufacturing facility in India.

In Malaysia, meanwhile, the Chinese manufacturer announced its intention to open a 400 MW PV cell plant. It said the plant, to be located in Penang, will be ideally sited to serve key solar markets in south and south east Asia.

Regarding the company’s Q1 earnings, the manufacturer saw its net income dive, both Q/Q and Y/Y, to RMB 35,529 million (around US$5.7 million), from RMB 153,082 million in Q4 2014 and RMB 82,634 million in Q1 2014. Gross margin was 16.1%, compared to 16.7% in Q1 2014, and 15.5% in Q4.