Panda Green taps shareholder for $11m, 18-week loan at 13%

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Embattled solar developer Panda Green has added another significant debt-related date to its already crowded calendar after tapping up another of its state-owned shareholders for the corporate equivalent of a payday loan.

The Hong Kong-listed Chinese company today announced it has borrowed US$10.99 million at a hefty 13.41% from Huaqing Solar Power Limited.

Huaqing assumed a 19.99% stake in heavily indebted Panda Green in January last year after the solar project developer was unable to settle a US$123 million loan from the state-owned solar investment vehicle which had fallen due in December 2018.

It appears Huaqing has not been burned by the experience and the latest line of credit must be repaid by June 27. Less than a month later, on July 23, Panda Green has committed to settle US$260 million of 8% senior notes it issued to major shareholder China Merchants Group Ltd late last month in order to settle with the majority of creditors related to a previous, US$350 million debt hanging over the business.

The developer’s ability to settle its looming financial commitments is likely to hinge on whether its latest Chinese state-backed bail-out – by Beijing Energy Holdings Co Ltd – is finalized in eight days’ time. The proposed HK$1.79 billion (US$231 million) lifeline has already been pushed back once, apparently over uneasiness surrounding the last-minute settlement of that US$350 million commitment. If the bail-out is postponed again on February 18, it could mean another stressful summer for Panda Green’s beleaguered investors.

The company claims to own 58 solar projects in China with a total generation capacity of 1,957 MW.