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Canadian Solar CEO seeks to take it private in cash deal, board considering


GUELPH, Ont. — Shares in Canadian Solar Inc. rose Monday after the company revealed it has received a non-binding takeover offer from its chairman, Shawn (Xiaohua) Qu, who is also CEO and president.

Qu is tentatively offering US$18.47 in cash for each share not already owned by him and his wife Hanbing Zhang, who together have about 23.5 per cent of Canadian Solar's stock.

The indicated offer was 7.1 per cent above the closing price of US$17.25 on Nasdaq on Friday. The stock was up $1.10 or six per cent at US$18.35 shortly after the market opened Monday.

Qu said in a Dec. 9 letter distributed on Monday that he wants to take Canadian Solar private using a combination of debt, the equity owned by him and his wife and potentially third-party equity sponsors.

"I believe that the transaction will provide superior value to the company's shareholders as compared to remaining a publicly traded company," said Qu, who added that he's not interested in selling his stake.

Canadian Solar said its board has formed a committee of independent and disinterested directors to consider the proposal.

Its shares have been mostly below US$20 since March 2016, well off their most recent highs in early 2014.

Founded in 2001 and publicly traded on Nasdaq since 2006, Canadian Solar is one of the world's largest solar power equipment manufacturers and solar utility developers.

The Canadian Press



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