SPI to raise US$58 million through private placement

Yesterday SPI Energy announced that it had entered into private placement agreements to sell 76 million shares to existing shareholders including an outside company, members of its management team and a Ms. Shan Zhou.

One of these investors is Chairman and CEO Xiaofeng Peng, who previously founded now-bankrupt Chinese wafer maker LDK. Through the agreement, Peng’s share of SPI will rise from 15.5% to 20.6%, exactly the share now owned by Ms. Zhou.

SPI says that the proceeds will be used for expansion of its global PV project business and for general corporate purposes.

This private placement comes less than four months after SPI held its initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ, and amid a shift in key directors. In late April Independent Director and Audit Committee Chair Charles Sheung Wai Chan stepped down.

SPI declared at the time that this was “not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices”. Chan was replaced on Monday by Dr. Maurice Ngai, who will fill all of Chan’s roles.

However, at the time of Chan’s resignation the company filed a notice with financial regulators that there would be a delay in filing its annual report.

SPI’s stock has also seen trouble. Only two weeks after the company’s January IPO, SPI’s stock value fell from around $12 per share to $6 per share in only two days, and has only partially recovered since.