Shareholders vote through Panda Green debt repayment plan

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Chinese solar project developer Panda Green looks set to be almost one-third owned by state owned bodies after shareholders yesterday approved a plan to issue new stock amounting to more than 68% of the currently issued share capital.

With the race on to pay a HK$1 billion debt that is reportedly due to fall for repayment by May, shareholders in the former United PV Group voted through a shares issue the Panda Green board hopes will raise HK$996 million towards that looming commitment.

Three apparently publicly-owned entities are lined up as subscribers, along with current 5.87% stakeholder He Bing, who has committed to acquire 6.49% of the enlarged Panda Green on top of what will be left of his current holding.

Under the terms of the shares issue, a US$123 million (HK$965 million) loan owed to state owned Qingdao Investment will be capitalized as a 19.96% stake in the enlarged company and an entity that appears to be linked to local government – the Shenzhen City Guoxie First Equity Investment Fund – will take up a 0.84% share in the new business at the cost of HK$0.3/share.

The State Owned Enterprise Structural Adjustment China Merchants Buyout Fund will acquire up to 7.57% of the newly constituted business.

The shares issue was passed at a special general meeting yesterday despite a 7.79 million block of shares – amounting to 0.13% of the current stock – voting against.

Accounts published by Panda Green at the end of June indicated a RMB20.8 billion (HK$24.3 billion) debt pile, with HK$1 billion due for repayment at the end of next month.