Suntech liquidator's China court win

Suntech Power has claimed another legal victory in its quest to claw back money and assets from former subsidiary Wuxi Suntech, which is in the process of being acquired by Shunfeng.

Suntech Power today revealed that a court in China has granted it a “preservation order” on assets held by Suntech Singapore – including its subsidiary Suntech Shanghai.

The ruling should mean that Wuxi Suntech – owner of Suntech Singapore – will be “prevented” from moving Suntech Shanghai “beyond reach”, claims David Walker, Suntech Power’s joint provisional liquidator.

Walker refers to Suntech Shanghai, which was incorporated in 2006, as the “valuable core subsidiary” of Suntech Singapore.

Suntech Singapore and Suntech Japan were transferred to Wuxi Suntech during its insolvency last year. However, Suntech Power – Wuxi Suntech’s former parent – disputes the legality of the transfers.

The one-year preservation order on Suntech Singapore was granted by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, and is subject to extension, claims Suntech Power.

The ruling represents yet another headache for Shunfeng and the new management at Wuxi Suntech, which claims to be the owner of the manufacturing capacity, brand name and intellectual property formerly owned by Suntech Power.

Suntech Power, its many creditors and its joint provisional liquidators are fighting a battle to reclaim as much value from Wuxi Suntech as possible.

John Ayres, a liquidator of Suntech Power subsidiary Power Solar System, says: “We are … making substantial progress in the investigation of the purported transfer of the equity interests in Suntech Power Japan and Suntech Singapore to Wuxi Suntech.”

“These actions appear to have been taken without proper regard for the interests of creditors and shareholders of the company, and appropriate actions will be taken in due course.”

Separately, Suntech Power today revealed that Suntech Singapore has filed an application with a court in Singapore to “set aside” the $264m it was ordered in January to pay Suntech Power.

Suntech Singapore filed the application on 12 March, one day before the money was due, according to Suntech Power.

The January ruling – called “regrettable” by Shunfeng – is significant, given that Shunfeng has offered 3bn yuan ($490m) for the whole of Wuxi Suntech, including its more than 2GW of cell and module capacity.