Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd.’s executive chairman raised his stake in the Chinese solar equipment maker this month, buying 53.9 million shares as the company’s market value surged.
Li Hejun bought the shares in seven transactions at prices of HK$6.90 to about HK$6.95, with the latest purchase on April 23, according to transaction details filed in statements to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company closed at a record HK$7.88 on April 23.
Hanergy has surged more than six-fold in the past year to a market value of about $39 billion amid questions about its valuation and revenue. The stock rose 0.1 percent to HK$7.22 in morning trade in Hong Kong.
Li already owned more than half of the shares and controls the company through a closely held parent called Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. Hanergy’s market value is higher than all other listed Chinese solar companies combined and six times the value of Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar Inc., the biggest producer of thin-film solar panels.
About 61 percent of Hanergy Thin Film’s sales derive from Hanergy Holding Group, the listed company said in March. The Financial Times said in January that “unconventional practices” were behind the company’s rapid rise.
Hanergy Thin Film hasn’t said how much it expects to ship or install in 2015, a practice that stands apart from other solar companies.
Lakewood Capital Management called Hanergy a “manipulated stock with manipulated financials” and started a small short position in March, founder Anthony Bozza said in first-quarter letter dated April 23 seen by Bloomberg.
SAFE Investment Co., the investment arm of China’s foreign-exchange regulator, bought a stake that’s less than 5 percent in Hanergy Thin Film as it adds alternative-energy assets to its portfolio, said people familiar with the matter last week.
— With assistance by Feifei Shen