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Business

Chinese Solar Firms Merge

by Melody M. Bomgardner
November 11, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 45

Shunfeng Photovoltaic International will buy the assets of Chinese solar panel maker Wuxi Suntech Power for $492 million. Suntech says it’s the world’s largest producer of solar panels; Shunfeng will get more than 2 gigawatts of solar manufacturing capacity along with intellectual property and an R&D unit. Suntech, with financial help from the Chinese government, had invested heavily in photovoltaic plants. Subsequently, a plunge in solar panel prices decreased solar incentives in Europe, and trade disputes with the U.S. pushed the firm into insolvency. Suntech had also raised capital by selling stock on the New York Stock Exchange and issuing bonds. In March, Suntech defaulted on $541 million in convertible bonds to U.S. investors. Shortly thereafter, Suntech filed for bankruptcy in China. It’s unclear whether U.S. bondholders will receive any payment.

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