Chinese solar manufacturer Hanergy has responded to an article in a Hong Kong newspaper about the transfer of stock by its major shareholder to two of his sisters.
In an announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Hanergy Mobile Energy Holding Group Co Ltd confirmed major shareholder Li Hejun had transferred his stake to sisters Li Xue and Li Xia in late March and had resigned as a director and chairman on April 3.
The revelation emerged in Hong Kong, where Hanergy’s thin-film manufacturer subsidiary Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd is listed.
The thin film unit is the subject of a “privatization” offer by the parent, which has offered shareholders in the Hong Kong unit the option of transferring their holdings into a special purpose vehicle formed from another Hanergy Group business, with the aim of relisting the entity on the Chinese A-share exchange.
The privatization plan
Trading in Hanergy Thin Film shares has been suspended since May 2015, after a precipitous fall in the stock’s value following the news the group’s financial performance had been inflated by intra-unit trading. Hong Kong shareholders have been told if they do not vote through the proposed privatization they face being left with worthless stock as the thin film unit is due to be expelled from the exchange in July.
Parent Hanergy Mobile Energy yesterday confirmed Li Hejun had transferred his holding to his sisters, with Li Xue receiving 70% of his interest and Li Xia 30%. The sisters entered into a “shareholding entrustment arrangement” with their brother which ensures they will control his interest on his behalf. That means Li Hejun retains control of the stock, said Hanergy Mobile Energy and Hanergy Thin Film in yesterday’s joint announcement. The sisters have won an exemption from the usual requirement to make an offer for the tiny proportion of Hanergy stock they do not hold.
The stock market update said the decision to transfer the stock had been made because Li Hejun is travelling extensively to promote solar power and Hanergy’s solar applications and no longer wishes to have day-to-day management of the group and its subsidiaries.
The Joint announcement added, Li and three fellow board members – Wu Wei, Chen Li and Wang Yong – resigned their positions earlier this month to streamline the board, which now has five directors plus six executive directors and six independent non-executive directors.
pv magazine has asked Hanergy when the vote on the proposed privatization is scheduled to take place but has received no response.