Deutsche Bank attempts to wind up Singyes Solar

Aug 12, 2019 10:47 PM ET
  • The German lender has issued a winding up petition over a $6.27 million debt and could scupper the manufacturer’s plans to restructure its defaulted payments and be taken over by a Chinese state-backed entity.
Deutsche Bank attempts to wind up Singyes Solar
Image: geralt/Pixabay
Deutsche Bank’s Hong Kong branch has issued a winding up petition against Guangdong-based solar project developer and building-integrated PV manufacturer Singyes Solar.

The heavily-indebted solar company is in the midst of negotiating with the holders of almost $430 million of defaulted senior notes and convertible bonds as it waits upon a mooted HK$1.55 billion (US$198 million) takeover by Chinese state-owned entity Water Development (HK) Holding Co Ltd.

However, the embattled manufacturer revealed on Friday, Deutsche Bank AG Hong Kong branch had issued the petition to wind up its affairs over what Singyes described as an “alleged” debt of US$6.27 million.

The petition will be heard by the Hong Kong High Court at 9.30am local time on Wednesday, October 2 and Singyes stated it has taken legal advice and “believes there are strong grounds for opposing the petition”.

In an announcement made to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday, Singyes revealed Deutsche Bank was among the creditors involved in discussions over a proposed debt restructuring which would require the consent of the holders of at least 75% of the defaulted payments to be passed.

Debts mount

Singyes is in default for a reported US$260 million of 7.95% senior notes due this year, US$155 million of US$160 million worth of 6.75% notes which were due to mature last year, and RMB96 million (US$13.6 million) of RMB930 million worth of 5% convertible bonds which the company last week confirmed it would not be settling on their due date last Thursday.

The Hong Kong-listed manufacturer has offered creditors a pro rata slice of a US$8.6 million “consent fee” plus a US$41.4 million pot of the monies owed them in return for accepting new three-year notes to the same value as the defaulted payments.

The debt restructuring hinges on Water Development HK acquiring a 66.92% of an enlarged Singyes Solar, a move which itself depends on current shareholders waiving requirements for the Chinese state-owned entity to acquire further stock in the ailing company, as would usually be required under Hong Kong takeover rules.

However, the promised details of that crucial shares subscription arrangement were last Wednesday postponed until October 4 – two days after the winding up petition hearing – with Singyes citing the creditor negotiations and continued lack of full year 2018 figures for the delay.

On Thursday Singyes stated the 2018 figures – which relate to the year the company suffered a drastic turnaround in its fortunes – would be prepared by this Friday. Further anxiety was heaped on shareholders a day later as the company announced its first half figures for this year would not be produced until “mid October”, thanks to the restructuring talks.

Comtec consolidation

Elsewhere on the Hong Kong exchange, solar developer and manufacturer Comtec Solar will hold an extraordinary meeting on August 26 to vote on a proposal to consolidate every four of its HK$0.001 shares into new shares worth HK$0.004 each.

The move has been prompted by exchange rules that dictate such consolidation be carried out if a listed company’s share price falls as low as HK$0.001.

Comtec has total issued share capital of HK$7.6 million.

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