ReneSola, a China-based manufacturer of solar wafers, listed 10 million American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange on January 29. Although the issue was priced at a discount of 9.7% to the underlying shares, which trade on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, it closed slightly lower in its first day of trading in New York.
ReneSola plans to use the $120 million proceeds to expand its solar-wafer manufacturing plants and to acquire raw material, which is in short supply industry wide. The wafers are thin sheets of crystalline silicon material primarily used in the production of solar cells.
Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank were lead underwriters for the ReneSola IPO, while Piper Jaffray, Lazard Capital and Oppenheimer were co-managers. The Bank of New York Mellon is the depositary bank for the ADRs, each of which represents two ordinary shares. “This marks the fifth ADR program we’ve established for a company based in China in less than three months, as that country continues to be an extremely active market for firms looking to bring ADRs to US investors,” says Christopher Sturdy, executive vice president and head of The Bank of New York Mellon’s depositary receipt division.
China is the world’s third-largest photovoltaic cell manufacturer. While last year was a banner year for equity issues by China-based solar companies, investors have been taking some profits so far in 2008.