China’s emblem of boom and bust calls time on HK listing

BEIJING • Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd, one of the most-hyped stocks of the decade, has called time on its Hong Kong listing after shareholders voted overwhelmingly to take the company private.

The firm expects to withdraw its suspended shares on June 11, according to a statement to the exchange on Sunday. Shareholders have approved a plan to replace their holdings with stock in a special-purpose vehicle that could allow them to cash out if the company is able to re-float on a mainland exchange, although it warned that such a listing isn’t certain.

The unit of Hanergy Mobile Energy Holding Group Ltd, which hasn’t traded for four years, saw its shares plunge abruptly in May 2015 after a precipitous run-up that drew the attention of short sellers and the market regulator. Once the world’s biggest solar company with a value that topped Twitter Inc, its market cap peaked at about US$40 billion (RM167.2 billion) before a one-day collapse erased almost half that amid questions over its finances, the revenue it derived from its parent and the trading patterns around its stock.

The firm became emblematic of the speculative froth that can plague Chinese stocks. The tale of its boom-and-bust included founder and former chairman Li Hejun, briefly China’s richest man, getting barred from serving as a director of any company in Hong Kong for eight years, after a court ruled he was involved in misconduct related to the running of the former solar giant. Li resigned from the Beijing-based parent’s board earlier this year.

Preparatory work on its mainland listing should be completed within six months after going private, the firm said in an emailed statement. The reorganisation comes as Hanergy closed in on the Hong Kong exchange’s end-July deadline to resume shares, which the company said it would probably not be able to meet. — Bloomberg