Trina Solar to go private in $1.1bn deal

The New York-listed company will merge with a rival in a transaction backed by its founder and Chinese investment firms.

Trina Solar, the world's biggest solar panel maker, will become a privately owned company with an equity value of $1.1 billion after merging with Australian rival Fortune Solar and its subsidiary Red Viburnum Company.

The merger agreement will see an investor group pay $0.232 and $11.6 in cash for each ordinary share of the company and each American depositary share (ADS) respectively, except for shares owned by Jifan Gao, chairman and chief executive of Trina Solar.

In addition to Gao himself, the consortium comprises Chinese firms Shanghai Xingsheng Equity Investment and Management, Shanghai Xingjing Investment Management, Great Zhongou Asset Management and Liuan Xinshi Asset Management, as well as some of their affiliates.  

The price tag they have agreed to pay represents a 21.5 percent premium to the closing price of Trina Solar's ADS on 11 December, the last trading day prior to its announcement of the receipt of a 'going-private' proposal, as well as a premium of 40.6 percent to the closing price of the ADS on 29 July 2016.

The board of Trina Solar approved the merger agreement and recommended the company's shareholders vote to authorise the merger proposal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

The news comes little more than a year after JA Solar Holdings, another New York-listed Chinese solar panel maker, said it was also considering going private. However, in its 2016 first quarter results, the company did not disclose further details on its potential delisting plans.