GCL-Poly takes helm at Same Time

GCL-Poly has struck a deal to acquire a majority stake Same Time Holdings, with the terms of the agreement significantly sweeter for GCL-Poly than when the deal was first mooted last autumn.

GCL-Poly, the world’s largest maker of polysilicon and wafers for the PV industry, will pay HK$1.44bn ($186m) for a 68% stake in Same Time, whose core business at the moment is making printed circuit boards.

That compares to the original deal the two companies were contemplating, which involved GCL-Poly paying HK$1.8bn for a 29% stake in Same Time.

GCL-Poly has explained the deal by stating that it wants a separate, publicly-listed “platform” to use to buy and operate primarily PV plants, adding that it will leave its businesses “more focused and organised”

GCL-Poly has an immense pipeline of PV projects in China, and is increasingly pushing abroad.

GCL-Poly’s offer, equivalent to HK$4.00 per share, comes in significantly below Same Time’s actual share price, which floated above HK$6.00 per share even before the takeover bid was revealed last year, and has since soared – starting this week at HK$12.40.

But in a joint filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, the two companies note that Same Time’s “business mix, business network, growth prospects, capital structure, financing capability, branding and business profile of [Same Time] will be significantly enhanced” as part of GCL-Poly’s energy empire.

When the deal is complete, Same Time’s existing board is expected to be cleared out and replaced by GCL-Poly’s preferred candidates.

The companies note that Same Time’s existing business model is under threat due to the rising wages and mobility of China’s workforce, leaving it to seek “other suitable business opportunities”.