Trina Hires Citigroup to Advise on Founder Gao's Buyout Offer

Trina Solar Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of photovoltaic panels, appointed Citigroup Global Markets Inc. to act as financial adviser on the bid by founder Jifan Gao to take the company private.

The special committee of Trina’s board that’s examining the offer also appointed Kirkland & Ellis to act as international legal counsel on the non-binding proposal, Trina said Wednesday in a statement on its website.

Gao made the offer in a letter dated Dec. 12 to buy stock at a 21.5 percent premium to its price on Dec. 11. Gao and a buyer group that includes a subsidiary of Industrial Bank Co., offered to acquire the shares of the company not already owned by Gao and the bank. The stock closed at $10.98 in New York on Tuesday, giving the company a market value of $1 billion.

“No decision has been made on the response to the proposal,” Trina said in the latest statement. “There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made, that any agreement will be executed or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated.”

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