Shunfeng signs deal to offload solar manufacturing assets for $760m

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China’s Shunfeng International Clean Energy (SFCE), one of the country’s largest renewable energy firms, has revealed today plans to sell its solar manufacturing business to a Hong Kong-based businessman for the sum of RMB 5 billion ($760 million).

According to a press release issued by SFCE, a non-legally binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with Asia-Pacific (China) Investment Management Ltd., a company owned by Kong Kong tycoon Kin Ming Cheng – who is also a substantial shareholder in SFCE as well as LDK Solar.

SCFE CEO and executive director, and former Suntech CEO, Eric Luo, said that the sale will allow SCFE to focus more on its downstream efforts within the solar industry.

"Since 2015, SFCE is driving a strategic transition with the core focus being shifted from heavy-asset based manufacturing business to light-asset based service business," Luo said.

"The company will continue its business on the solar power generation, solar projects development, EPC and O&M, while proactively explore and expand energy management contracting business and other clean energy technologies and applications."

SCFE acquired Suntech in 2014 for $483 million, and last year sold 2.28 GW of solar wafers, cells and modules. The company also grew its project portfolio significantly in 2015, finishing the year with 1.78 GW of completed projects – the majority of which were in China. Shunfeng has, however, made recent progress in developing projects in other countries, namely in Europe and Australia.

Last year, the firm paid $57.7 million to acquire a 63.13% stake in U.S. high-efficiency module producer Suniva. Today’s press release made no mention of SCFE’s plans for its manufacturing capabilities in the U.S.