Shunfeng bids for Suntech unit

Chinese PV manufacturer Shunfeng Photovoltaic International has broken cover as a bidder for Wuxi Suntech – the insolvent main manufacturing unit of stricken solar giant Suntech.

A unit of Shunfeng has placed a bid to acquire undisclosed equity assets held by Wuxi Suntech and a 500m yuan ($81.7m) deposit has been paid, said a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Shunfeng said it hopes the acquisition will strengthen its PV cell and module manufacturing operations, so it can expand into the construction and development of utility-scale solar plants.

Shunfeng, also based in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, plans to fund the potential acquisition by debt, raising fresh capital or drawing upon its internal resources, it added.

Following news of the bid Shunfeng's stock rose to its highest point since its July 2011 IPO, advancing 20% to a record HK$3.95.

Suntech agreed to sell a 99% stake in a project company and 29.7MW of its modules to Shunfeng in May at a below-market rate.

Chinese polysilicon giant GCL-Poly and the local authorities in the Wuxi area are also preparing bids, according to Reuters.

Wuxi Suntech was forced into bankruptcy in March.

Parent group Suntech is struggling to regain stability and restructure financially after defaulting on  $541m worth of bonds and losing its former status as world’s biggest supplier of PV modules.