Yingli in talks with creditors over break up

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Chinese solar panel manufacturer Yingli this morning revealed it is talks with its lenders about a potential takeover of its chief Chinese business units.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited today revealed on its Yingli Solar website that the extent of its debts means its lenders may take control of the parent company’s Chinese subsidiaries or those units may instead be acquired by “strategic investors”.

pv magazine has been aware of rumors the major solar manufacturer could be acquired by the state-owned China Development Bank since the SNEC trade show in March but had been unable to substantiate the lead.

Today’s announcement was light on detail and did not identify monies owed, creditors or potential state-backed white knight investors. The statement did outline, however: “The company understands that various parties including relevant governmental agencies are making concerted efforts to promote the debt restructuring of the company’s major PRC [People’s Republic of China] subsidiaries.”

Yingli’s 2018 annual report, published in May, outlined the extent of the company’s financial distress and acknowledged the manufacturer faced being broken up to satisfy creditors.

Debt mountain

A Form 20-F filing lodged with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed Yingli’s Baoding Tianwei subsidiary had overdue medium-term notes worth RMB4.45 billion ($628 million). According to the filing, parent company Yingli Green Energy Holding had a capital deficit of RMB11.9 billion at that point, overdue short-term borrowings of RMB4.77 billion, had been unable to roll over RMB2.39 billion of debts due to fall in April and May and had another RMB8 billion due by May 2020.

On top of that, three creditors had secured court victories relating to a total RMB468.4 million owed them with a further RMB110 million being contested in the courts and the company had just received a claim for a further RMB106 million.

The business was de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange in July 2018.

Today’s announcement did not name the Chinese subsidiaries which may pass to new ownership but known mainland units of the Baoding-based manufacturer include: Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd; Tibet Keguang Industries and Trading Co Ltd; Lixian Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd; Tibet Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd; Jiangsu Yingli New Energy Co Ltd; Chengdu Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd; Baoding Zhongtai New Energy Resources Co Ltd; Xinjiang Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd; Yingli Energy (Beijing) Co Ltd; Tianjin Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd; and Yingli Green Energy Hong Kong Trading Limited.