Canadian Solar appoints advisors for $1bn proposed ‘take-private’

Shawn Qu, founder and CEO of the NASDAQ-listed company, offers $18.47 each for outstanding common shares as a special committee of directors considers the move.

Canadian Solar is processing the preliminary, non-binding proposal from the company’s chief executive Shawn Qu and his wife Hanbing Zhang in a “going private” transaction, which values the company at around $1.07 billion.

Last Thursday, the board of the Canadian solar developer appointed Barclays Capital Canada as its independent financial advisor, Weil, Gotshal & Manges as the US legal counsel and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt as the Canadian legal counsel to assist the company in the process.

It has also set up a special committee of its board of directors to consider the proposal, and it noted that no decision has been made and there is no assurance that any definitive offer will be made.

Qu and Zhang proposed the ‘take-private’ bid for the NASDAQ-listed company on 9 December last year, offering to buy all of Canadian Solar’s outstanding common shares for $18.47 each. The price represented a 7.1 percent premium over 8 December’s closing price of $17.25, as well as a 15 percent premium over last Friday’s closing price of $16.05.

“I believe that my proposal of $18.47 in cash per common share will provide a very attractive opportunity to the company’s shareholders,” said Qu in his proposal letter.

Qu founded Canadian Solar in 2001, and is the company’s largest shareholder – together with his wife, he owns around 23.5 percent of the company’s shares. As a manufacturer of solar PV modules and a project developer, the company has delivered projects with a combined capacity exceeding 25GW across more than 100 countries.