Canadian Solar Withdraws Proposal to Go Private

A special committee established to review the proposal also recommended that future proposals be rejected unless there is evidence of secured financing


Solar module manufacturer, Canadian Solar has announced that its chief executive officer Dr. Shawn Qu has withdrawn his bid to take the company private after a special committee established by the company’s board recommended rejecting his bid.

On December 9, 2017, Dr. Qu had filed a proposal to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of the company not already beneficially owned by Dr. Qu and his wife, Ms. Hanbing Zhang, in a “going-private” transaction for cash a consideration of $18.47 per common share.

According to the company’s release, the special committee has recommended the board cease its review of the proposed transaction, and not undertake any additional such reviews of transactions proposed by Dr. Qu unless the board receives “reasonable evidence” that the proposed transaction is fully financed. The committee has made these recommendations citing significant changes in the solar industry since the announcement of the offer.

In addition, the special committee has recommended that the company undertake an audit of its business and look at other ‘strategic alternatives’ that may be available, as the company did not support a “going-private” transaction.

According to the Mercom Solar Funding and M&A Reports, the exodus of Chinese public solar companies from U.S. stock markets started in 2017 as many felt they were undervalued. Most Chinese companies have struggled in the U.S. stock markets for years due to the constant boom-and-bust cycles in the industry. Trina was the first company to go private followed by JA Solar and Renesola, which took its manufacturing unit private.

Recently, Hanwha Q CELLS, announced its plans to go private. The company stated that it has received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter from Hanwha Solar Holdings (HSH), a subsidiary of Hanwha Chemical Corporation incorporated in the Republic of Korea. Under the proposal, HSH will acquire all outstanding shares of HQCL not already owned by it in a “going private” transaction for a cash consideration of $9 per American Depositary Share (ADS, with each ADS represents fifty ordinary shares), or $0.18 per ordinary share.

In September 2018, Li-Ion point Capital had supported Canadian Solar’s bid for privatization.

Shaurya is a staff reporter at with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.